AlDub Political Prisoners

There are now a number of AlDub political prisoners here at Camp Bagong Diwa. Among them are the AlDub couples, Ruben Saluta / Precy Estrada, Alex Birondo / Winona Oñate, and Adel Silva / Sharon Cabusao, who have been among those foully transferred last September and October from Philippine National Police detention in Camp Crame, where they were detained in the same jail, to Bureau of Jail Management and Penology detention here in Camp Bagong Diwa, where they are now detained in separate jails.

Actually, all political prisoners in the country are actually also AlDub political prisoners — as they have been confined in order to be separated from the mass of the people, especially the oppressed and exploited, to whom they have devoted to the fullest their hearts, their work and the whole of their lives. As the ruling reactionary regime continues to do this, it acts as the repressive “Lola ni Dora” of the AlDub political prisoners and the oppressed and exploited masses.

Since their transfer here to Camp Bagong Diwa last September and October, the political prisoner couples have now been detained in separate jails here at Camp Bagong Diwa, with male political prisoners confined at the Special Intensive Care Area Jail, and female political prisoners confined at the Female Dormitory – Taguig City Jail.

Despite the new barrier of distance and walls, however, the now cruelly separately confined political prisoner couples have still been able to create a new way of communicating with each other across the quarter-of-a-kilometer distance between their separate jails. This, aside from occasionally being able to exchange love letters, with their relatives and other common visitors providing them free inter-jail mail courier service.

This new way of the separated political prisoner couples’ being able to communicate with each other takes place when they are allowed to go up for exercise at their respective jails’ rooftops, where they can at least still catch glimpses of each other — across the distance — and send hand-language, including “pabebe” waves, “big heart” messages and other hand-language messages to each other, AlDub-style.

Those AlDub-style messages are actually enjoyed not only by the AlDub couples, but also by all the other political prisoners at the Taguig City Jail and the Special Intensive Care Area Jail.

A few days ago, however, a barrier of GI sheets were mounted — ala “Victor plywoods” — at the rooftop of the Taguig City Jail, so that the AlDub political prisoners in the two jails can no longer catch glimpses of each other and send AlDub messages to each other in the open as freely as before.

The physically separated political prisoners have, however, been managing to once in a while still be able to catch glimpses from each other through a gap in the “Victor plywoods” barrier, and still be able to send — even if now rarer — AlDub messages to each other.

Creating ways of maintaining ties and communicating with each other, even across jails and despite “Victor plywoods” barriers, depicts how political prisoners will not let their ranks, their relations, their rights, and their determined fight for social advocacies and the interest of the mass of exploited and oppressed mass of the people — they have been put in jail for — be defeated.
These AlDub political prisoners and all other political prisoners should not only be allowed to freely communicate with each other. As the continuing imprisonment of political prisoners is reactionary, unjust and repressive, and further serves as a barrier to peace processes, they should all be released. “Sa tamang panahon” (“the right time”) of their release is now.

Alan Jazmines
National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant
detained at the Special Intensive Care Area Jail,
Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City
December 3, 2015