The Medical Action Group (MAG) welcomed the efforts of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to conduct a public hearing on the allegations of the Morong 43 of human rights abuse. MAG is an organization of health professionals and students against torture and for the health rights of all including detainees. Members and officers of MAG attended the public hearing conducted by the CHR today March 18, 2010.
“The truth should come out. We support the efforts of the CHR to investigate the allegations of the Morong 43 health professionals and workers about violations of their rights such as torture, illegal arrest, illegal detention and deprivation of the right to counsel. The CHR is mandated by the Philippine Constitution to investigate human rights abuse, identify violators and facilitate access to remedy for victims. The Philippines is signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and even arrested and detained persons have rights,” said Ms. Edeliza Hernandez, Executive Director of Medical Action Group (MAG).
Aside from the Philippine Constitution and the human rights conventions, there are three other Philippines laws relevant to the case of the Morong 43 – the Revised Penal Code (RPC), RA 7438 (An Act defining certain rights of persons arrested, detained or under the custodial investigation as well as the duties of the arresting and detaining officers which was passed in 1992 and the new law RA 9745 (Anti-torture law passed in 2009).