FORWARDED APPEAL (Philippines): Seven prisoners facing possible execution 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you an appeal from the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), a human rights organisation in the Philippines, about the plight of seven political prisoners who are facing possible execution. They are Apolonio Barado, Orlando Bundalian, Ruperto Lopez, Sonny Marbella, Generoso Rolida, Ricardo Solangon and Armando Vidar.

They were charged with various crimes punishable by death under the Republic Act 7659, an Act to impose the Death Penalty on certain heinous crimes.  Although the Philippine government has observed moratorium on executions, they have not abolished capital punishment in accordance with Article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which it is State party. The Philippines is one of the many countries in Asia imposing death sentences. (Please visit our previous appeal on the death sentence in the Philippines: UA-152-2005)

Please write letters to the relevant authorities requesting for a sufficient and immediate review of the detainees’ cases. Also please request the Philippine government, in particular members of the Senate and House of Representative to take measures to abolish RA 7659, which provides capital punishment in their law.

If you have further questions, please contact the TFDP in the address below.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission


Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)-Luzon
45 St. Mary St., Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines

Seven political prisoners are in death row

“Political crimes are those directly aimed against the political order, as well as such common crimes as may be committed to achieve a political purpose,” the Supreme Court (SC) said. Yet those words are nothing more than rhetoric. Political dissenters continue to be charged with common crimes punishable by death. Tomorrow they could be executed in cold blood. They are Apolonio Barado, Orlando Bundalian, Ruperto Lopez, Sonny Marbella, Generoso Rolida, Ricardo Solangon and Armando Vidar.

All of them have something in common.  All of them are poor. They could not afford to hire a competent lawyer due to poverty and this contributed to their unwarranted conviction and the meting out of death sentence by local courts. All of them are men of conviction. Their crimes are that they fought for the masses who raised their fist to fight for their rights and defended the oppressed and sacrificed for others.

Their incarceration at death row speaks of the terrible irony we have – that those who fought for social change languish in jail. The sight of men and women of conviction who defended the oppressed suffer in prison is a stark reality of the kind of democracy we have – the systematic treatment of political dissenters as ordinary criminals.

The TFDP learned that their respective cases were decided without any documentary evidence and a handful of testimonies stood as their defense before the Court. When one takes into consideration such judgment, one must doubt if the right for equal protection under the law was observed. In fact, substantial due process was denied them which contributed to the unwarranted conviction of seven political prisoners who are in death row. When one also takes into consideration the gravity of sentence on them, one must doubt the impartiality of such judgment.

This situation speaks of only one thing, that of an attempt to obscure the suppression of political dissenters and how grave is the situation of political prisoners in the country. The seven were charged with various crimes punishable by death under the law (Republic Act No. 7659). Their cases struck at the heart of human right creed- right to life. More important, their cases dispelled the illusion and showed the world what we have- a democracy that thrives on sheer lies. The capital punishment of executing people in cold blood, repudiates the spirit of restorative justice behind the modern penal system which strives to reform and rehabilitate the offenders.

Action requested

Please write letters to express your concern about the treatment of political prisoners and detainees and the continuing imposition of capital punishment in the Philippines. In your letters, please draw attention to Apolonio Barado, Orlando Bundalian, Ruperto Lopez, Sonny Marbella, Generoso Rolida, Ricardo Solangon and Armando Vidar, all are currently detained at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

Please send letters in English or in your own language:

– asking the Court of Appeals (CA) to conduct an immediate review of their cases;

– asking the Office of the Executive Secretary and Office of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary to bring to the attention of  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the case of Apolonio Barado, Orlando Bundalian, Ruperto Lopez, Sonny Marbella, Generoso Rolida, Ricardo Solangon and Armando Vidar;

– expressing concern on the continuing practice of the government in charging political dissenters with common crimes in complete disregard of their civil and political rights;

– asking the Congress to repeal the Death Penalty Law (RA No. 7659) that it no longer befits the modern penal system and it has been consistently proved by several scientific studies that capital punishment does not deter commission of crimes.

Send letters to:

1. Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace
J.P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila
Telephone: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742 1641 / 929 3968
Email: /

2. Hon. Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban
Supreme Court of the Philippines
Padre Faura St., Ermita, 1000 Manila

3. Hon. Justice Ruben T. Reyes
Presiding Justice
Court of Appeals
Ma. Orosa St., Ermita, 1000 Manila

4. Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita
Office of the Executive Secretary
2nd Floor Mabini Hall, Malacañang Palace
J.P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1105
Premiere Guest House
Telephone: (+632) 736 1076; 736 5359

5. Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez
Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Telephone: (+632) 523 8481 local 214; 521 8344; 521- 3721
Fax: (+632) 521 1614
E-mail address:

Send copies to:

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman,
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102

and to diplomatic representatives of the Philippines accredited to your country.


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-004-2006
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Death penalty,