From the Philippine Star (Jan 16): De Lima orders probe of ex-soldier's kidnapping
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has ordered a re-investigation of the kidnapping of a retired soldier by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas in Tanay, Rizal in September last year.
In a resolution signed last Jan. 7, De Lima cited the procedural lapses in the charges filed against Marites Marquez and Rosario Loreto, who were tagged in the kidnapping of retired M/Sgt. Lino Filipino.
“A careful review of the evidence on record reveals a procedural flaw that violated the sacred rights of the respondents to be secure in their persons. In an inquest proceeding, it is the duty of the prosecutor to first determine the legality of the arrest made,” De Lima said.
“Records show that at the time of their arrests, the arresting officers did not even have an iota of personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that respondents Marquez and Loreto committed the alleged kidnapping,” she added.
De Lima said the arrests were based on mere hearsay by one Jonathan delos Angeles, a member of the Civilian Active Auxiliary, who claimed Marquez and Loreto were among the armed individuals who flagged down the jeepney that Filipino was riding and that he saw them leading him away.
De Lima also directed the provincial prosecutor’s office to move for the withdrawal of the charges against the respondents.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Filipino’s wife. The former soldier was reportedly seized by armed individuals, wearing camouflage uniforms in Barangay Tinucan, Tanay, Rizal on Sept. 26, 2014.
The complainant said among those who took her husband were four women, who introduced themselves as NPA rebels.
Marquez and Loreto were arrested by soldiers of the 16th and 59th Infantry Battalion in Sta. Ines, Tanay Rizal on Sept. 27.