Talisay 3 political prisoners released!
On December 26, 2013, Charity Diño, Sonny Rogelio, and Billy Batrina were released from Batangas Provincial Jail, with all charges dismissed by the local court due to lack of evidence.
The three political prisoners were volunteers working as peasant organizers in 2009 when they were abducted and tortured by the Philippine Air Force in Talisay, Batangas. The three were then detained in prison on trumped up charges until their cases were finally brought to court in recent weeks.
Human rights group Karapatan‘s secretary general, Cristina Palabay, commented,
This ruling reaffirms our assertion that fabricated charges heaped upon political activists should be deemed as highly irregular, illegal and unconstitutional acts of repression against social critics of the government, in an attempt to silence them.
Palabay went on to note that Diño, Rogelio, and Batrina were three of 449 political prisoners under the Aquino administration as documented by Karapatan.
The Talisay 3 were among the political prisoners that OCHRP visited in Batangas Provincial Jail as part of their July Global Justice Tour and fact finding mission.
OCHRP member Doug Booker noted,
We are proud of the small contribution that we made to support the Talisay 3 and in campaigning for their release.
While it is heartening to know that the campaign to end their unjust incarceration was ultimately successful, one recognizes that the more trips we made to the Batangas jail, year after year, the more new political detainees we encountered.
While we celebrate this significant victory, we continue to call for the release of all political detainees.
Free all Political prisoners now.