Four former governors of Puerto Rico today appealed to President Carter to release five jailed Puerto Rican nationalists as ran act of humanity."

One of the five. Andres Figueroa Cordero, is reported to be terminally ill with cancer at the Springfield Mo., federal penitentiary.

The text of the letter to Carter was released in San Juan by the head of the "National Committee to Free the Nationalist Prisoners," which sought and obtained the signatures of former governors Luis Munoz Marin. Roberto Sanchez. Vilella, Luis A. Ferre and Rafael Hernandez Colon.

Figueroa and three other Nationalists, Lolita Lebron. Rafael Cancel Miranda and Irvin Flores Rodriguez, were jailed in 1954 for taking part in a shooting attack in the House of Representatives in which five members of Congress were injued.

Another nationalist. Oscar Collazo, was imprisoned in 1950 in an assasination attempt against President Truman at Blair House.

In the letter to Carter, the signers respectfully pray that you exercise your constitutional power and release the five Puerto Rican nationalist prisoners and especially Mr. Andres Figueroa Cordero."

Current Gov. Carlos Romro Barcelo was not asked to sign the appeal, according to committee president Nelson W. Canals, who said Romro has stated publicly tht he does not endorse the release campaign.