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Bicolano political prisoner released on bail

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A Bicol-based political prisoner is getting a meaningful Christmas gift this year – freedom.

Ramon Argente, 57, was released on bail last Dec. 15 and proceeded to the Philippine Heart Center where he underwent a checkup, Bicol Today reported.

Yet, Argente – who was granted bail by the Regional Trial Court Branch 64 in Labo, Camarines Norte – said he still wishes that other political prisoners will be released soon.

“Nananawagan (ako) sa administrasyong Duterte na tuparin ang kanyang pangako bago pa siya makapanumpa. Nagpahayag na siyang handang palayain ang mga bilanggong pulitikal ganoon din ang pagpapalaya sa mga maysakit katulad ko, at iyong mga bilanggong matatanda…mga bilanggong pulitikal na matagal nang nakakulong maging iyong mga kababaihan,” he said.

Also, he expressed his wish that the government resume peace talks with left-leaning groups soonest.

He had been detained for more than three years on charges of multiple counts of murder, theft and frustrated murder. He underwent a triple heart bypass operation in 2013.

Bicol Today said Argente experienced difficulty breathing and chest pains, and his condition worsened while at the Camarines Norte Provincial Jail.