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Freedom for the Morong 43

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We are one in celebration with the families, friends, patients and constituency of the 43 health workers who have gained their freedom after all charges against them were dropped by the Department of Justice last December 18, 2010. We are pleased that they, or which the media call Morong 43, will be able to celebrate the holidays with their families and loved ones.

The ten months of their illegal detention have not only deprived them of their basic freedom and human rights – including their freedom to pursue their career as community health care providers - but also deprived their poor constituency of urgent medical attention which is grossly lacking, especially in far-flung areas of the Philippines.

Their abduction, illegal detention and torture threw a dark cloud of fear among community-based health workers. Some shunned working in distant communities, as they might suffer the same fate as that of the Morong 43 while doing their job as health workers, placing the welfare of their constituency in jeopardy.

Despite the ordeals and sacrifice of the Morong 43, their decision and promise to continue working as care providers for the poor and marginalized lifts the whole tradition of service to the people. Their dedication to their careers and their beneficiaries deserves the utmost recognition.