Group asks DOJ: Allow jailed family to visit political prisoner’s wake
MANILA, Philippines — A group that looks after political prisoners have asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a “compassionate permit” that would allow jailed inmates to visit the wake of a political prisoner who recently died.
According to the group Kapatid, its members are asking the DOJ to allow the wife and son of Jesus Alegre, a political prisoner who was supposedly jailed for 16 years, to see him for the last time.
The group through spokesperson Fides Lim has already forwarded a letter to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, citing the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Security and Safekeeping Procedure which allows persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) to view the remains of a deceased relative, if the DOJ chief approves it.
“For compassionate and humanitarian reasons, we request you to please allow the imprisoned wife and son of 75-year-old political prisoner Jesus Alegre to join his wake and the funeral mass scheduled on June 18, Friday, 10 a.m. at the National Cathedral of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in Taft Avenue, Manila,” Lim said.
“After the funeral mass, through financial support, the remains of Jesus Alegre will be flown to his home province of Negros Occidental for burial, in accordance with the wishes of his wife,” she added.
Lim stressed that if the family are allowed to visit the wake, this would be the first time in 16 years that the family would be reunited.
“With your intercession, this will be the first time in 16 years that Morita [wife of Alegre] will be able to see her husband and to rejoin her family . . . Sir, what is but one visit when they have lost a lifetime of being together as a whole family?” Lim asked.
“And what is three hours when Morita will see her husband for the first and last time after 16 years—inside a coffin,” she added.
Alegre’s name popped up recently after Kapatid also asked the national government to include sick and elderly political prisoners in the COVID-19 vaccine prioritization.
In a March 2021 story, Alegre’s case — who was in and out of the hospital due to emergency diagnosis and treatment — was cited as an example of why political prisoners and other PDLs must be vaccinated.
Kapatid said that Alegre died on Sunday “after months of increased weakness and disorientation.” Both Alegre’s wife and son were convicted of murder during a land dispute case.
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