19 NDF consultants join hunger strike
ILOILO CITY—At least 19 consultants of the National Democratic Front have limited their food intake to call for the release of 432 political prisoners all over the country.
Some were taking only one square meal a day while the others, especially the elderly, had two square meals per day. They also partook of crackers and water in between meals.
One of them was an ailing 65-year-old alleged rebel leader of Panay Island.
The consultants, many of them in their 50s and 60s, took turns in fasting from Dec. 3 to 10, the International Human Rights Day.
“We resorted to fasting because of the repeated broken promises of the government peace panel to work out the release of political detainees,” said Maria Concepcion Araneta-Bocala.
The 19 consultants, including couple Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, alleged chairman and secretary general, respectively, of the Communist Party of the Philippines, were released in August after they were allowed to post bail and be part of the peace negotiations between the government and the NDF.
Bocala said they assured that at least 200 prisoners would be released before the November round of talks. She said they were later told that 70 would be released.
“None of these pronouncements have been fulfilled,” she said.
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