PRISONS…Manila Pen and Beyond


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Prison Journal of Fr. Roberto P. Reyes

On November 29, 2007, after a hearing at the Regional Trial Court of Makati, several military officers being tried for the Oakwood alleged coup d’etat led by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, walked out of City Hall together with their witness BGen. Danilo Lim and several others.

The march led to the Manila Peninsula Hotel where a call for the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was made in protest against the perceived sins of her government.

The call to action ultimately ended at Bicutan and Camp Crame.

The incident ignited the declaration of a curfew that was reminiscent of martial law and a virtual war on media practitioners who flocked to the hotel and refused to leave without the officers, soldiers and civilian sympathizers. The subsequent actions of the Marines and law enforcers who surrounded the area and eventually apprehended the participants, was likewise the subject of much heated discourse.

“Running priest” Fr. Robert Reyes was one of the civilians who proceeded to the Manila Pen and was later incarcerated at Camp Crame for two weeks.

In this book, Fr. Robert shares his personal diary written from November 29 until his subsequent release on December 13. His detention became a journey of faith and a discovery of a brotherhood with military men and civilians alike bound by their love for country.

Included too are the narrations and reflections of his fellow detainees — Gen. Lim, Sen. Trillanes, former UP Pres. Francisco “Dodong” Nemenzo, Magdalo soldiers Navy Ltsg Eugene Gonzalez and Marine Lt. Jonnell Sangalang, columnist Herman Tiu Laurel, and poet-activist-lawyer Roberto “Argee” Guevarra– as well as a contribution from Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon, who slipped out of the Manila Pen at the height of the seige and has been missing since.

Published by the Asian Human Rights Commission on November 26, 2008; 127 pages; Language: English; ISBN 978-962-8314-416, PID: AHRC-PUB-017-2008
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