De Vera’s case follows the common pattern of trumped-up non bailable charges to lock up activist as common criminals.
By DANIEL ASIDO
MANILA – A son of a political prisoner appealed for the humanitarian release of her mother Adora Faye de Vera, 66, due to her security and medical issues.
In a statement, Ron, De Vera’s son, said that his mother needs treatment for her chronic asthma and complications. He added that their family is very worried for his mother’s safety following the series of “tokhang-style” killings of prominent activists, including the elderly and very ill, who were tagged by military-police forces as leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
“Iloilo is not a safe place for Mama and it’s very far away from us. She has been through so much suffering. We appeal to government authorities to give her a chance to live a peaceful life…Please release her on humanitarian grounds and allow us to take care of her,” Ron said. Incidentally, his father remains missing since his abduction in 1990.
De Vera has been one of the faces of women’s struggle in the country under martial law after enduring rape and torture under the Marcos dictatorship.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested De Vera in Teacher’s Village East in Quezon City on Wednesday, August 24, on rebellion and multiple murder charges. This was done through the warrant issued by a judge at the Iloilo City Regional Trial Court in 2006.
She is facing non-bailable charges with a P2.5 million ($44,500) bounty placed by the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
De Vera who is the older sister of Commission on Higher Education (Ched) Chairman Prospero “Popoy” De Vera III is the 803rd political prisoner in the country, according to Kapatid, a support group for family and friends of political prisoners.
Women’s group Gabriela also called for the release of its former member. The group said that De Vera remained steadfast to serve the people despite her harrowing experience. After her release, she became Gabriela secretary-general in the 1990s.
“Part of her work in Gabriela was handling the education program, conducting training and orientation on violence against women (VAW) and poverty. She deeply knew VAW since she suffered abuses at the hands of the military,” the group said.
They added that after her term in Gabriela, De Vera then decided to leave the relative comfort of working with urban poor women and decided to shift to serving peasant women instead.
Kapatid spokesperson Fides Lim also asked for Adora’s “compassionate release,” as she can be granted a presidential prerogative of full pardon to unconditional amnesty to facilitating her release on recognizance.
“Adora’s political imprisonment reopens festering wounds yet presents a tremendous challenge to the new President to show he is not incapable of righting the wrongs of the past and that his mantra of unity during the elections is not a hollow message to sidestep his family’s brutal and corrupt history,” Lim said in a statement.
Lim also suggested that De Vera’s brother Prospero can be placed as guarantor who will put her on legal custody while getting the treatment, even as the CHED chair publicly claimed that he does not support his sister’s views nor actions.
“Who is a better guarantor than a brother who has red-tagged his sister to prove in his own words that he neither ‘shares her views nor supports her actions’ and ‘fully supports the government in its efforts to end the communist insurgency?’ Fealty and the value of history apparently end for him where loyalty to Marcos is more important. But the chair of higher education should be reminded that a cardinal principle of the system of justice is the presumption of innocence,” Lim added. (AMU,DAA)