ABS-CBN News published:
President Benigno Aquino III on Friday ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to drop all criminal charges against 43 health workers who were arrested in Rizal last February on suspicion of being New People’s Army (NPA) rebels engaged in bomb-making activities. In a speech during the celebration of Human Rights Day, Aquino said his administration recognizes that the “Morong 43” were denied the right to due process when they were arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
“As a government that is committed to the rule of law and the rights of man, this cannot stand. Therefore, I have ordered the DOJ to withdraw the informations filed before the court. This will in effect, subject to court approval, free those among them who have no other standing warrants in other courts,” he said at the celebration of the 62nd Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
He added: “Let this be a concrete example of how our administration is working in the broad light of day to build a country where the law protects us equally. The culture of silence, injustice and impunity that once reigned is now a thing of the past.”
Thirty-eight of the health workers are detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City while the rest are still at Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.