After President Rodrigo Duterte pardoned United States Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, the Supreme Court (SC) has been prodded to finally grant the petition seeking the temporary release of 22 political prisoners.
“Where is justice when a US soldier convicted of homicide over the killing of Jennifer Laude was granted absolute pardon while hundreds of incarcerated Filipinos languish in prisons because of fabricated and baseless charges meant to silence them from speaking against government injustices,” said Kapatid spokesperson Fides Lim in a statement.
Lim lamented that “while prisoners at risk from COVID-19 sit with the worst fears because of Supreme Court inertia, Duterte overturns the justice system not only against the Laude family, but against the entire Filipino people.”
With this, Lim pleaded before the SC the grant the petition of the 22 political prisoners which was filed back in April 8.
“We ask the justices to look at prisoners as part of humanity who deserve a chance to survive,” she said as she pointed out that all 22 are at risk from the deadly COVID-19 virus,” she said.
Meanwhile, Solicitor General Jose Calida has already filed a comment opposing the granting of the temporary liberty to the 22 political prisoners which he all called “communist members.”
“We are well aware of the blinders that the Office of the Solicitor General seeks to impose to divert and negate the humanitarian basis of this petition,” Lim said.
“The fact that political prisoners initiated this petition does not detract from the greater purpose which seeks to benefit all other prisoners likewise medically vulnerable to the pandemic,” she added.