August 18, 2010
The Medical Action Group, Inc. (MAG) condemns the inhuman act and degrading punishment recently conducted by a person in authority allegedly a police chief in Manila. This merciless act is just an example on how our government allows torture as a systematic policy in interrogation and punishment. The alleged torture victim was accused of robbery. According to ABS-CBN News, a video was captured by a young man named Emil and he just wanted to reveal the undisclosed activities inside detention cells. Manila Police District Director Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Magtibay and National Capital Region Police Office Chief Director Leocadio Santiago reviewed the video and pledged to conduct an investigation and summon all persons involved in the incident.
The last sentence of the last paragraph in our press release dated February 8 entitled "MAG condemns the illegal arrest and detetion of health workers" originally read: "...to release immediately the remaining 12 health rights defenders..." After verifying the information, there were no releases made by the military, thus, all the forty-three (43) arrested health workers are still in their custody.
The Medical Action Group (MAG) supports the initiatives of Dr. Esperanza Cabral of the Department of Health (DOH) in her endeavour to fight the escalating incidence of HIV/AIDS in the country through condom distribution at Dangwa, Sampaloc last February 14.
MAG lauds the unflinching sincerity and steadfast commitment of Dr. Cabral and the entire agency, in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. With her efforts, the public health interest prevailed.
The Medical Action Group (MAG) expresses its concern and at the same time, strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest, detention and harassment of forty-three (43) physicans, nurses and health workers last Saturday, February 6, who were participating in a health training at a farmhouse in Morong, Rizal.
According to the information received, the arresting team lead by Col. Aurelio Balalad of Rizal Philipipine National Police (PNP), together with hundreds of heavily armed elements of the military and police forced their way to the farmhouse owned by Dr. Melecia Velmonte without showing a search nor arrest warrant. The victims were frisked, handcuffed, questioned and were brought to Camp Capinpin, headquarters of the 202nd Infantry Brigade.