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2 Quezon jail detainees stayed behind

By Delfin Mallari Jr.
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 00:12:00 10/29/2008

Filed Under: Regional authorities, Prison, Armed conflict, rebellion

LUCENA CITY ? Two detainees at the Quezon provincial jail chose to stay behind bars and did not join the escape of their seven comrades who were rescued by New People?s Army rebels last Saturday.

The detainees insisted that they were legal activists and not armed revolutionaries.

Alexis Uy, 28, a former activist from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and farmer Joseph Binsal, from San Narciso, Quezon, said they did not join their fellow political prisoners in the escape because they are ?not armed revolutionaries.?

?The authorities claimed that I am an NPA but I?m not. I?m a militant activist but not an armed revolutionary. I have nothing to do with all those cases filed against me,? said Uy.

He admitted that he often joined antigovernment rallies when he was still out of prison in pursuit of his social activism.

Uy said the nine prisoners at the provincial jail--the seven who escaped, Binsal and himself--had been classified by human rights group as ?political detainees.?

He said all political detainees at the Quezon jail knew each other and often got together, especially during visits by fellow leftist activists.

But when the NPA rebels shouted during the attack that all political detainees should come out of their cells and escape with them, the two said they did not heed the call.

?We both decided to stay to clear our names under the legal process,? Uy said.

Binsal, standing beside Uy, nodded in agreement. ?I?m not an NPA,? he said.



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