Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kidney Capital ng Mundo?

First segment of PROBE episode that aired on November 21, 2007 on ABS CBN.

Foreigners in need of cheaper medical attention and surgery have been flocking the country since the Philippine government launched its medical tourism program last year. Some 200,000 patients have entered the country in search not only of doctors’ attention but also of a crucial, scarce resource—kidneys from living, non-related donors.

In tonight’s episode, Pinky Webb investigates the increasing number of kidneys for sale that have attracted foreign buyers. She discovers and asks concerned government agencies why the one is to ten ratio of foreign to local kidney transplant patients has not been strictly followed.

Probe looks deeper into the organ donation system, which saves lives but at the same time unwittingly exploits the poorest of the poor. It echoes the question foremost in the minds of medical practitioners and concerned sectors: is medical tourism really helping Filipinos?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Freedom of the Morong 43 is fruit of the people's struggle

They braved indefinable forms of human rights violations so that they may live to see the day when they will finally be reunited with their families and people they serve.? The Morong 43 are finally free!

Today, ten months of roaring cries for freedom and justice voiced in different languages from all over the world bears fruit.Judge Gina Cenit Escoto, presiding judge of the Morong Regional Trial Court Branch 78 has finally released a decision late in the afternoon today to withdraw all cases filed against all of the 43 health workers.

Thirty-eight of the health workers were detained at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City since May 1 while five others remained in military custody since their illegal arrest at Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.

Relatives and supporters have been waiting anxiously outside the Morong RTC since Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima filed for a motion to withdraw the cases Monday this week. They peacefully 'picketed outside' the court building since Wednesday. After the judge released the official decision, court staffs followed by the Morong 43 relatives and supporters proceeded to Camp Bagong Diwa, a civilian detention facility, to deliver the hard copy of the order which will facilitate the release of the detained health workers.

Registered nurse and alliance spokesperson Carlos Montemayor said that the health workers underwent a mandatory physical check-up by prison doctors for clearance, a requirement before a detainee is released from the prison camp's custody.

Nursing mothers Judielyn Oliveros and Mercy Castro were transported from the Philippine General Hospital to Camp Bagong Diwa with their newborns to undergo prison protocols before they too are finally released.

From Taguig, the health workers will proceed to Quezon City for a press conference to thank all the people, including the media for keeping the faith and not giving up on their case. Montemayor said that the Morong 43 took strength and refuge in the massive local and international support this campaign gained since day one adding the struggle to free the 43 is within the overall struggle to free all political prisoners.

"Definitely, this is not the end of their story. The international movement on the campaign for health and human rights welcomes the additional 43 people with burning fervor and inspiration," Montemayor added. ##

Carlos Montemayor, RN
0922 499 6237 / (+632) 929 8109

‘Morong 43’ women first to walk out of detention

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) Six hours after their lawyers received the courts' orders to discharge them, the female members of the so-called "Morong 43," the group of health workers arrested 10 months ago in Morong, Rizal, on suspicion of being communist rebels, were the first to be released from detention late Friday night.

Delia Ocasla was greeted with cheers from relatives and supporters when she emerged from the gates of the BJMP jail at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City at 11 p.m.

She was the first detainee to be freed among the 23 women detainees after 10 months and 7 days in detention.

Shortly after Ocasla, the other women detainees stepped out of the gates with wide smiles and clenched left fists raised.

The women carried their belongings in plastic bags. One detainee carried a sign that said "Maraming salamat po sa mga sumuporta sa Morong 43 (Many thanks to all supporters of Morong 43)."

Lawyers of the group said the release of the 15 male detainees will be delayed as they were still being processed.

Morong 43 released from Camp Bagong Diwa