By Jeffrey Damicog
A support group for political prisoners and their families expressed hope that the Supreme Court (SC) revolve on Tuesday, June 16 the petition seeking the temporary release of 22 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) including a woman who is already due to give birth in July.
“We have been waiting and waiting for a resolution on our petition because prisoners are not only getting sick in greater numbers and dying but one of the petitioners, Reina Mae Nacino, 23, is also due to give birth by July,” Kapatid said in a statement.
“She is now on her 8th month of pregnancy while COVID-19 continues to spread at their congested quarters at the Manila City Jail Female Dorm,” it added.
Nacino is among 22 vulnerable political prisoners including the elderly and ill who sought from the SC their temporary release due to threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus dieases (COVID-19) which has spread within the prisons.
Recently, SC Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said the petition might be resolved during the high court’s next session this Tuesday.
“We in Kapatid take hope from Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta’s statement that a decision on our pending petition appealing for the humanitarian of the elderly, the sick, and pregnant prisoners will be forthcoming by Tuesday next week, June 16,” the group stated.
Kapatid insisted that Nacino was “arrested on trumped-up charges last November 5, 2019.”
“Together with her mother and family, we are very worried about her condition and we hope the Supreme Court will allow her release, even on temporary basis on bail,” it said.
On the other hand, Solicitor General Jose Calida has already asked the SC to dismiss the petition since the petitioners are communists.
“The petitioners are all valuable members of the terrorist organization – the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDF) and charged with non-bailable offenses,” cited the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in its comment submitted to the SC.
“Without a doubt, this petition is a ruse to remove them from the confines of the judicially-approved penal custody,” the OSG pointed out.