10 political prisoners released after presidential pardon

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The first four of the 10 political detainees pardoned by President Rodrigo Duterte are released from the New Bilibid Prison Thursday: (From left) NDFP peace consultant Emeterio Antalan, Josue Ungsod, Joel Ramada and Ricardo Solanon. (photo by Kodao Productions)

Ten political prisoners – National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Emeterio Antalan, Ricardo Solangon, Joel Ramada, Apolonio Barado, Jose Navarro, Generoso Rolida, Arnulfo Boates, Manolito Matricio, Josue Ungsod, and Sonny Marbella – were granted presidential pardon and released from New Bilibid Prison (NBP) on Thursday, July 6, 2017.

They will be presented at a press conference by the human rights advocacy group, Karapatan, on Friday, July 7, 1:30pm, at the Bayan Conf. Room, 4F Erythrina Bldg., 1 Maaralin, Brgy. Central, Quezon City.

Fidel Agcaoili, Chair the of the NDFP Peace Panel, said: “It is too few and too late. It is just a fraction of the 409 political prisoners still in detention whose liberty was supposed to have been given through general amnesty as offered by PRRD on 16 May 2016 as part of the package to resume the peace negotiations with the NDFP. Moreover, the release of the 10 through pardon was volunteered by the GRP Panel for the Christmas season last December. It took more than six months for that voluntary offer to happen. This manifests the regime’s total lack of empathy and concern for the plight of political prisoners who are/have been in prison for trumped up charges in violation of the CARHRIHL.”