On the occasion of International Human Rights Day on December 10, the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) will be holding its annual Paskuhan sa Kampo (PSK) as its main activity for this year’s Political Prisoners’ Day.
PSK 09 schedules are: December 08 at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), December 12 at the Manila City Jail (MCJ), December 14 at the Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ), and December 15 at the Bataan Provincial Jail.
In line with this, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Atty. Leila De Lima met with political prisoners at the NBP in Muntinlupa last November 12. The meeting was set for the Chairperson to personally interact with the victims of political detention and repression, and for the Commission to formulate programs to assist the political prisoners.
During the meeting, CHR Chairperson De Lima declared, “…bona fide advocates of freedom and human rights through your political advocacies, then we need you to be free at the soonest possible time, and we need those who are free to remain free. We need every Filipino to be on the side of freedom and human rights, political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights. And we need all of you to never lose hope in our shared beliefs of full protection and promotion of human rights for everyone.”
Attendees of the said meeting were 34 political prisoners, their relatives, support groups and members of Free All Political Prisoners Campaign Network. Also present were CHR Commissioner Jose Manuel Mamawag, TFDP Executive Director Lito Amistad, TFDP Deputy Executive Director Sr. Crescencia Lucero, SFIC, TFDP officers and staff, and representatives from the Balay Rehabilitation Center, the Medical Action Group (MAG), and the Partido ng Mangagawa.
The dialogue was in line with TFDP’s campaign for the release of all political prisoners and political detainees in the country. It aims to discuss the issue of political detention and seek for the CHR’s commitment to address the concerns of the PPs and PDs, women and men of courage who continue to languish in different jails and detention centers nationwide.
As of December 2009, according to TFDP’s records, there are 258 political prisoners and political detainees in the country.