Cabusao, de Lima’s release hailed

Even as it called the release of political detainees Sharon Cabusao and Isidro de Lima as “long overdue,” national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno expressed joy over a Bacoor court’s decision to junk charges of illegal possession of explosives against the two, who were released from detention last Wednesday.

The labor group said the case was in the first place merely fabricated by police and military officials who led the arrest of the leader of women’s group Gabriela and the KMU activist, together with National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant Adelberto Silva, in Bacoor, Cavite in June 1, 2015.

“The case was filed only to justify Cabusao and de Lima’s detention together with Silva. Its junking is long overdue, but we are still very, very glad over our comrades’ release,” said Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog,  KMU chairperson and convenor of the Free Adel Silva Committee.

The labor leader said Cabusao and de Lima’s release is a victory of the non-stop local and international campaign for their freedom, and of very competent people’s lawyers handling the case.

“This is a victory of all labor and women’s groups, all progressive organizations, in the country and abroad, who fought for their release. It is yet another proof that the collective action of workers, women and other sectors is needed in the struggle for political detainees’ freedom given the pro-elite and anti-Left bias of the country’s justice system,” Labog added.

KMU said that while the release has nothing to do with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s promise of releasing all political prisoners in relation to the resumption of peace talks with the NDFP, Duterte’s promise showed the country that releasing political prisoners is most just.

“We look forward to the release of Silva, all NDFP consultants, labor rights defenders and political detainees under President-elect Duterte. Like Cabusao and de Lima, they are suffering from mere trumped-up charges and should not be in jail any minute longer. The struggle for the freedom of Silva and all political detainees definitely continues,” Labog stated.

KMU called on all Filipinos who believe in human rights and to the peace talks as a way of addressing the root causes of the armed rebellion in the country to speak out and join protests calling for political detainees’ immediate release.