Appeal for President Aquino to release Juanito “Nitoy” Itaas
Dear President Benigno Simeon Aquino III:
Juanito Itaas is one of the country’s 328 political prisoners and detainees. It has been 25 years since he was arrested, tortured, wrongfully accused, and eventually, unjustly convicted and imprisoned for the killing of U.S. Army Col. James Rowe in 1989.
Nitoy was a Davao resident and farm worker when he was arrested. It was his first time in Manila in 1989 when he was presented to the media. Rowe was killed in Quezon City. Nitoy was a fall guy and only admitted killing Rowe because he was tortured.
Nitoy is now 50 years old and married to Glenda Itaas. They have three children, a son and two daughters, all of whom were conceived during conjugal visits at the New Bilibid Prison. Their children never experienced a normal and happy family life. It is Nitoy’s fervent wish to be a full-time husband to Glenda and a full-time father to their children.
In 1992, Nitoy was recommended for release, but the U.S. government interfered and protested. Appeals have been made to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC), but to no avail.
Mr. President, we humbly request that you look into the case of Juanito Itaas and release him for humanitarian reasons. This is also your chance to fulfill your administration’s promise in 2011 in relation to the release of all political prisoners in the country.
For human rights, we remain.
TASK FORCE DETAINEES OF THE PHILIPPINES
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