Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tiamzons tell Quezon City court to drop abduction cases

From the Manila Standard Today (May 7): Tiamzons tell Quezon City court to drop abduction cases

Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma, alleged leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines, on Tuesday asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to dismiss the charges of abduction with serious illegal detention filed against them.

In a 19-page omnibus motion, the couple through the Public Interest Law Center and National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, also asked Branch 81 Judge Madonna Echeverri to set aside their April 8 arraignment, saying the proceeding was invalid.

The Tiamzons said the charges must be deemed “absorbed” in the rebellion case that was dismissed by the Supreme Court on June 1, 2007, citing the alleged incidents were in furtherance of rebellion.

They were accused of abducting Lieutenants Clarito Santos, Oscar Singson, Rommel Salamanca and Abraham Casis on May 1, 1988 in Barangay Taguan, Candelaria, Quezon and Sergeant John Jacob ofthe Narcotics Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on June 1, 1988 in Mauban, Quezon.

“The abduction was politically motivated. As the political purpose alleged in the information in these cases is clear, the present cases must be absorbed in the rebellion case pursuant to the Hernandez doctrine,” their motion read.

Tiamzon counsels further said the alleged kidnapping with serious illegal detention cases must be considered common crimes, but instead be absorbed in rebellion case.

“The separate prosecution of the cases must no longer be allowed. They should be deemed to have been terminated with the dismissal of the rebellion case in Makati by the SC, of which they are mere ingredients,” the motion said.

The couple invoked 1987 Constitution citing “no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law” under Section 14 of Article 14.

“The accused were informed of such arraignment late afternoon of April 7,” the omnibus motion said. “Although they were able to communicate to their counsel and informed them about the setting, there was no sufficient time for the counsel and their clients to confer,” the omnibus motion stated.

Echeverri gave the prosecution 10 days to file a comment on the motion.

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