LOS ANGELES, California, United States—Filipino-American activists wrote US President Barack Obama an open letter asking that the so-called Morong 43, or the health workers who were arrested in Morong February 6 and detained thereafter, be released.
Last week, the delegation of FilAms, including Melissa Roxas, who was also abducted in the Philippines last year, also held a mid-day protest outside the Philippine consulate here to demand the immediate release of the 43, said Bayan-USA vice chair Kuusela Hilo said in a statement.
“We call on the international community to condemn this gross violation of human rights and hold Arroyo accountable for her administration’s gruesome human rights atrocities. We demand that all taxpayer dollars budgeted for US military aid supporting the Philippine military be withdrawn immediately,” said Chito Quijano with the International League of Peoples’ Struggle.
The FilAms, together with Kaparatan chairperson Marie Hilao Enriquez, met with Consul General Mary Jo Aragon to deliver open letters addressed to Obama, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and other elected officials demanding the release of the Morong 43.
The protesters included members of AnakBayan LA, and Habi Arts of Bayan USA, SiGAw! of Gabriela USA, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, the United Methodist Church, the California Nurses Association, and the Filipino Migrants Center
Terrie Cervas, Vice Chair of Gabriela USA and member of SiGAw said, “We condemn the illegal arrest…(and the denial) of basic rights like access to legal counsel and food.”
There is an ongoing online petition for the Morong 43.