Thursday, June 2, 2011

4 o’clock habit campaign: prayer/appeal for Umbrero’s release

Dear Friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ (TFDP) S.O.S. appeal campaign for the release of Mariano Umbrero, a political prisoner who has cancer, now in the fourth stage, started few months ago with the sending of an urgent appeal (letter of appeal) to various partners.  It was followed by an online barrage of appeals posted on Facebook.  This was done to call the attention of P-Noy and other concerned government agencies and for them to act on the case of Umbrero.  TFDP also directly sent a letter to the Office of the President, while the Medical Action Group (MAG) sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

As a result, students from the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, with the help of the Social Action Center responded by sending individual letters of appeal to government agencies.  The students asked their friends to do the same.  Members of ACAT, one of the TFDP’s international partners, also sent letters to P-Noy and DOJ.  Many friends on Facebook also responded by bombarding P-Noy’s Facebook page, as well as the page of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).  Communications were also sent to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Episcopal Commission on Prison and Pastoral Care of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

TFDP has already received some responses.  Both the DOJ and the DSWD referred the request to the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP).  The Office of the Political Adviser under the Office of the President also replied by asking us to provide them with  pertinent documents regarding Umbrero’s case.

The BPP responded to our follow-up by saying that their processing as of the moment is on hold, short of saying that they cannot do anything regarding Umbrero’s case. 

The health condition of Mariano Umbrero is speedily deteriorating.  We believe that he is very much qualified for pardon and even for Executive clemency on humanitarian grounds.  We also believe that due to his medical condition, his case needs urgent action.  Aside from the fact that he should not be imprisoned in the first place because of his political belief.

Because of the need for BPP’s speedy action and an intervention from President Aquino himself, we are continuing to push for Umbrero’s release. As part of the S.O.S. Free Umbrero Now! Free All Political Prisoners! Campaign, we are inviting everyone to join us in the third wave of online barrage appeal campaign for Umbrero – the 4 o’clock habit campaign: prayer/appeal for Umbrero’s release.

We are appealing to everyone, every 4:00pm, even for five minutes, please post the prayer below as your Facebook status.  We will do this until P-Noy delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25, or until we reach our objective of having Umbrero released.  This is to show our solidarity with Umbrero and to hopefully touch the heart of P-Noy to immediately order Umbrero’s release on humanitarian grounds.

We will keep you posted of other upcoming activities regarding this matter.
We are hoping for your solidarity.  Together, we may be able to change the life of one man in dire need of our help.   
S.O.S. Free Umbrero Now! Free All Political Prisoners!    
Prayer for Umbrero’s release from incarceration
Almighty and Eternal God of justice and freedom,
You are the everlasting health of those who believe in You.
Hear us for Your sick servant Mariano Umbrero
for whom we implore the aid of Your tender mercy
for the restoration of his bodily health.
We also pray that you touch the heart of our President
for him to use his power and influence to immediately free Umbrero from incarceration.

S.O.S. Free Umbrero Now! Free All Political Prisoners!

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