My last post was written on the eve of UN International Human Rights day, and focused on the ‘Morong 43’.
Yesterday’s news from the Philippines was that President Aquino took the opportunity of December 10 to announce that the Department of Justice has been ordered to immediately withdraw all the charges filed against the 43 health workers who were arrested in Morong, Rizal in early February.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer quotes Secretary De Lima as saying: “There are actually several considerations because, well, today—International Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the [Universal Declaration of Human Rights]—is the best timing for such an announcement, and also because, as you know, there is a lot of clamor from both the domestic and international human rights communities for their release.”
Optimism abounds that detainees could rejoin their loved ones in time for Christmas. Given the power and unpredictability of the Philippine military, nothing is certain, but we will wait and watch with Advent attention.
After more than 10 months of prayer and action, in the Philippines and around the world, it appears that we are about to see more evidence of the power that Christmas represents.
Two mothers among the Morong 43 – Mercy and Judilyn – gave birth while in detention. They told us that they would wait to give their babies proper names after their release. It appears that their babies will be named at Christmas, a joyful day.