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In matters concerning the best interest of the child which the Philippine government claims to uphold through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Children’s Rehabilitation Center dares the Aquino government to immediately release Carina “Judilyn” Oliveros who gave birth to a baby boy, the 43 health workers and all the political detainees in the country.

Judilyn was one of the health workers who were violently abducted along with 42 other co-participants in a health training last February 6. She was already on her second trimester of pregnancy when they were illegally arrested. After the abduction, they were subjected to torture and endless interrogations. They were charged with trumped up cases and are languishing in jail for more than five months now.

“With her giving birth, the right thing to do, is to release her and her baby for humanitarian reasons. The child’s right not to be separated from his mother and his basic right to life, be nurtured and be taken care of by his mother should be the foremost concern at this point,” said Ma. Esmeralda Macaspac, Executive Director of CRC. “Mother and child should be placed in a situation conducive for Judilyn to recover and be able to nurture her child. Definitely, such conducive situation will not be found in Camp Bagong Diwa.”

According to Ms. Macaspac, not only Judilyn’s child but the rest of the children and grandchildren whose parental security collapsed due to the illegal arrest and detention of a parent or both parents should be considered. “In the case of the 43 health workers, their children, grandchildren and siblings experienced distress due to the abrupt changes in their lives. They await the return of their loved ones from training and suddenly they are visiting them in a camp with armed guards, high fences and barbed wires.”

Macaspac called on child rights advocates to support the call for the release of Judilyn and her baby as well as the rest of the health workers. “The present administration takes pain in differentiating itself from the previous regime’s corrupt and inhumane ways. This is one concrete way President Noynoy Aquino can show how different it is from President Arroyo. Show heart, if indeed your government has one and release Judilyn and her baby. Better yet, release all the 43 health workers, NOW! ###