‘Morong 43’ rejects mediation

Posted on October 10, 2015

THE SO-CALLED Morong 43 have rejected mediation on their P15-million civil suit against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which means the case would have to proceed to trial.

In a statement, spokesperson Alex Montes said the health workers arrested in a 2010 raid have stood pat on their damage suit against Mrs. Arroyo, former national security adviser Norberto B. Gonzales, and Camp Capinpin warden Manuel Tabion.

“Regardless of what the accused, and their camp, does to deny their accountability for the illegal detention and torture of the 43 health workers, we are firm in resisting any form of arbitration, and we wish for the hearings to proceed,” Mr. Montes said.

Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81 Judge Madonna C. Echiverri had submitted the case to mandatory mediation through an Aug. 26 order. The case was referred to the Philippine Mediation Center on Friday.

The order provided that should mediation fail, the Judicial Dispute Resolution would proceed on Nov. 11.

The health workers were arrested during a medical training session in Morong, Rizal, on Feb. 6, 2010, and were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The group, however, said they were subsequently detained and tortured by military and police officers. They were freed in December that year, after 10 months. -- VAAFN