Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ranking CPP-NPA leaders arraigned in Manila courts for Inopacan, Leyte Massacre

From the Philippine News Agency (May 7): Ranking CPP-NPA leaders arraigned in Manila courts for Inopacan, Leyte Massacre

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said that ranking Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) leaders were arraigned at the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 47 for 15 counts of murder regarding the 1985 Inopacan, Leyte Massacre.

These rebel leaders were identified as Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, Satur Ocampo, Vicente Ladlad, Randal Echaniz, Rafael Baylosis and several others.

They refused to enter a plea so the judge entered a “not guilty plea” in their behalf in order for the arraignment to push through, AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said.

The Inopacan, Leyte Massacre was among the alleged crimes committed by the NPAs in 1985 in their attempt to rid their ranks of military informants.

The rebels hastily tried suspected NPAs and civilians thru their “Kangaroo Courts,” leading in the summary execution of most suspects.

Accounts from the families and witnesses revealed that the massacre ended up into about 70 killings in Barangay Sapang Daku alone.

Exhumation of some of the victims’ remains were done in the early 2007.

The complainants and witnesses of the prosecution include those who were ordered to execute the victims themselves as they were then members of the NPA operating in Leyte.

The families of the victims were thankful that their case have finally moved despite the delaying tactics done by the accused.

The case was originally filed in Hilongos, Leyte but was transferred to Manila on request of the accused personalities in the hope that the witnesses will be in default during the hearings, according to one of the aggrieved parties.

They hope that the arrest warrants of the NPA leaders will come out soon.

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