Underestimating 43

Published in BlogWatch.ph

In many instances, the Palace sidestepped the 43 illegally detained health workers’ demand for their immediate release by dishing out its “let the courts decide” excuse. It played blind to a daylight mockery of its usual rhetoric on freedom and democracy, only to cover up this hypocrisy on the commemoration of International Human Rights Day.

And so President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III did some serious thinking perhaps for the first time on December 10. In a politically timed fashion, Aquino ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withdraw the charges against the health workers accused of being communist rebels engaged in bomb-making activities.

“We recognize that their right to due process was denied them. As a government that is committed to the rule of law and the rights of man, this cannot stand,” Aquino said in a program inside the Palace. Following this statement, a memorandum was issued by the Palace to DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima. Interestingly, the memo was dated December 8, 2010, which means that Aquino indeed intended to reserve the occasion of the Human Rights Day for this announcement.

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