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Open Letter to Chief Justice Peralta

Submitted by: rgsphil
On: 19/04/2020

 

OPEN LETTER TO CHIEF JUSTICE DIOSDADO PERALTA

Dear Hon. Peralta,

“In many countries, detention facilities are overcrowded, making physical distancing and self-isolation practically impossible. People are often held in unhygienic conditions. Health services are inadequate – or non-existent – and the virus “risks rampaging” through these vulnerable populations” (news.un.org, March 25, 2020).

Part of the global effort in containing the Covid-19 pandemic is to decongest prisons and jails and reduce the number of persons under detention. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged governments to release “every person detained without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners, and those detained for critical dissenting views.”

We understand the deathly impact that the Covid-19 brings, and are fully aware that the description above also described our country’s jails and detention centers. We join the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Human rights advocates and families of the detainees, in calling on the Philippine government for just and humanitarian reasons, to release the political prisoners especially the sick and the elderly, those with chronic and debilitating medical condition and pregnant women.

Furthermore, persons under detention who are minor and low-risk offenders, and those who can be safely reintegrated into society should be assessed and considered for release from custody during the course of this pandemic.

Several governments have already responded to the call and have released quite a number of persons under detention. We urge our Philippine government to immediately decongest prisons and prevent the spread of the dreaded virus in the many congested jails and detention centers. As Bishop Gerardo Alminaza in a statement said, “Decongesting facilities will help secure the lives of the detainees and jail personnel.”

Release all political prisoners!
Release the elderly, the sick, the pregnant women and low-risk offenders!
Let us save lives by decongesting our jails and detention facilities!
Free REY CLARO CASAMBRE!

 

Religious of the Good Shepherd

Province of Philippines-Japan