Second Open Letter to Pope Francis I
from Philippine Political Prisoners
(17 December 2014)
Your Holiness, Pope Francis,
Again, our warm embraces!
We send our joyous greets to you on your birthday, today!
We trust that you continue to be well, to have more birthdays to come, and to be able to strongly push your advocacies, including those that concern the freedom, rights and welfare of the mass of the people, especially the most deprived, hungry and oppressed — including those who have suffered and continue to suffer much from man-made as well as natural disasters.
We, political prisoners, continue to look forward to your visit to our country in mid-January next year.
We reiterate our hope that, aside from directly looking at the situation of the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda, sympathizing with them, giving inspiration to them and valuably boosting their spirits in surviving and rising above the mire, you would also be able to visit us or, at least, that your office would be able to look into our unjustly repressed situation as prisoners of conscience — as those who have been repressed behind iron bars and continue to be repressed in our advocacy and fight for people’s causes and for fundamental political and social changes in the interest of freedom, justice, human rights and the qualitative betterment in the lives and conditions of the deprived, impoverished and oppressed mass of the people.
We continue to hope that, even in your short visit to our country, you would also see what can, in utmost, be advocated and done to effectively help in qualitatively resolving our situation. Such includes pressing for the return of our lost freedom as political prisoners, and for the redress of the injustices and other violations of our political and human rights, that we, victims of continuing arbitrary and unjust political imprisonment, have long been made to suffer in our country — much like what you have also seen and were pained about in your home country, Argentina.
We also hope a lot that in looking at the very reason why we were placed and continue to be confined behind iron bars, you will also be able to learn more deeply the dire situation of the deprived, impoverished and oppressed mass of the people — not only in the areas devastated by Supertyphoon Yolanda, but throughout the country — in whose interest we have been struggling for and continue to be devoted to for the attainment of fundamental political and social changes for the betterment of their lives and of the whole of our society.
We continue to fervently hope for your valued support and for, indeed, the great help of your intercession in our situation and in that of the suffering mass of our people.
Political Prisoners (in Metro Manila jails)
in Camp Crame
Joel E. Enano
Rex G. Villaflor
in Camp Bagong Diwa
Jesus Abetria Jr.
Hermogenes Reyes Jr.
Ma. Miradel Torres
in New Bilibid Prison
Gerardo dela Peña
cf: Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines
Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform
Office of the President of the Philippines