MANILA, PHILIPPINES – With her mother, relatives, friends, and children of the Morong 43, Trixie Gab yesterday celebrated her 4th birthday inside the Women’s Dormitory at Metro Manila District Jail Compound in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, a not-so-usual place for a child’s birthday party.
Trixie is the child of Jane Balleta, the 27-year old granddaughter of the late labor leader and Anakpawis Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran and one of the forty three health workers who were illegally arrested, tortured and are on their eighth month of detention. Jane, a volunteer community health worker of the Council for Health and Development, is also suffering from epilepsy.
Ofelia Beltran, Jane’s mother, said their celebration of her granddaughter’s birthday inside jail is her way of giving comfort to her unjustly incarcerated mother.
“Jane and her colleagues’ continued detention is emblematic of the grave human rights situation in the country under the Aquino government, where not one political prisoner has been released since he assumed office. We will continue to work and appeal for their immediate release,” Beltran said.
Jane said she wanted to celebrate Trixie’s birthday with the children of her co-inmates from Morong 43 to make her feel that she is not alone in aspiring for her mother’s freedom. She also recited a poem entitled “Para Kay Trixie,” as a gift for her daughter. When asked, Trixie had one wish for her birthday — her mother’s freedom.