Re: Release of Health Care Workers: LRWC calls for immediate release of the two infants with their mothers and all the health care workers.
To: Honourable President Aguino and Secretary De Lima
From: Gail Davidson, LRWC Executive Director
Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) applauds the President’s decision to direct the withdrawal of charges against all 43 health care workers arrested February 6, 2010 (Morong 43). LRWC now calls for their immediate release. Given the directive that all charges be withdrawn, we know of no legal justification for continued detention and are concerned at the delay in announcing and effecting the release of the Morong 43.
LRWC is alarmed at the harm caused by more delay, to the two infants born in custody: a baby boy born July 22, 2010 and a baby girl born October 18, 2010. Both infants remain in hospital detention with their mothers. While keeping the infants with their mothers was and is necessary to the best interests of the infants, the continued detention in hospital custody—of the infants and their mothers—is not. Studies indicate that stress, lack of attachment opportunities and sensory deprivation during the first 9-12 months of an infant’s life increase vulnerability to negative outcomes including disease, developmental delay, mental illness and reduced ability to perform physical and intellectual tasks. All of these conditions are present in the hospital detention environment. We trust that your office shares LRWC’s alarm that the infants are being needlessly exposed to these future risks.
LRWC calls on the government of the Philippines to act immediately to ensure the release of the infants, their mothers and the other Morong 43.