The New York Post
September 14, 1999

                  By MARIA ALVAREZ and
                  MARILYN RAUBER

                 Freed FALN prisoners yesterday vowed to join
                 forces to resume their political activism - starting
                 with a mass rally next week - and claimed they
                 have the OK from the feds.

                 "We plan to be together - all of us," Ida Luz
                 Rodriguez said outside the federal courthouse in
                 San Juan. "Being in jail has not broken my spirit."

                 The move came despite a federal parole rule that
                 bars parolees from associating with anyone with a
                 criminal record - such as fellow FALN convicts -
                 "unless he has permission of his parole officer."

                 Nine members of the Puerto Rican terrorist group,
                 freed on parole Friday after President Clinton
                 granted them clemency, said U.S. probation
                 officials in San Juan stipulated only that they must
                 inform their probation office before any

                 Eustaquio Babilonia, deputy probation chief in
                 San Juan, declined to discuss the restrictions,
                 other than to note they have pledged, as a
                 condition of clemency, "not to engage and
                 promote violence."

                 A probation spokesman in Chicago - where two
                 other freed FALN members are living under that
                 district's jurisdiction - wouldn't comment on
                 whether the co-mingling ban has been lifted for the
                 pair, but noted "it is the normal practice" to
                 enforce the ban.

                 Clemency critics were shocked at the San Juan

                 "This arrangement defies logic. It's as if the clock
                 was turned back," said Rep. Vito Fossella
                 (R-S.I.) who last week led a House resolution
                 condemning the clemency.

                 "Now they're meeting over a cup of coffee and
                 who knows what they're plotting," added
                 Fossella, who is seeking a meeting with parole
                 officials to clarify the prisoners' status.

                 "This is astounding. It goes against everything we
                 were led to believe," said Joe Connor, whose
                 father died in an FALN bombing.

                 None of the FALN members have voiced regret
                 for their past - although not charged with any of
                 the FALN's 130 bombings, some were
                 videotaped making bombs - and Sunday, a
                 defiant Ricardo Jimenez refused to apologize for
                 his role, calling himself a "freedom fighter."

                 The freed FALNers plan to attend a
                 pro-independence rally in Puerto Rico next

                 Meanwhile, the Senate unanimously voted 93-0
                 last night to go ahead and debate a resolution
                 denouncing the clemency.