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House reso filed urging Nueva Ecija court to reconsider arrest orders vs. Makabayan ex-solons

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 8/10/2018 Jimenez, Raffy
Resolution on Makabayan © Erwin Colcol Resolution on Makabayan

The progressive Makabayan bloc on Thursday led the filing of a resolution urging the Palayan Regional Trial Court in Nueva Ecija to reconsider the issuance of arrest warrants against four progressive former lawmakers on the alleged murder of Akbayan party's supporters.

In House Resolution 2064, the Makabayan bloc also sought the House of Representatives' "utmost concern" on the issuance of arrest warrants against the former lawmakers.

The Palayan Regional Trial Court on July 11 issued arrest warrants against National Anti-Poverty Commission lead convenor Liza Maza, former Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano and former Bayan Muna lawmakers Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño after it found probable cause to indict them on the alleged murder of supporters of Akbayan.

But according to the Makabayan bloc, the arrest orders run counter to the July 18, 2008 order where the same court found no probable cause or reason to issue warrants of arrest against the four suspects.

"There is no explanation for the reversal of [Judge Evelyn] Turla's order despite being based on the same evidence, facts and circumstances," the resolution read.

"Law requires all judges to clearly explain their decisions or orders, with factual and legal basis, for fairness and due process," it added.

As of filing, a total of 33 lawmakers across party lines have signed the said resolution.

Civil society group Citizens' Crime Watch has offered a P1-million reward money for any information that will lead to the arrest of the respondents.

But in an interview with GMA News in an undisclosed location, Maza maintained that she is not in hiding but is merely taking steps to ensure her safety and security.

"This is a sinister plot na ibalik yung napakatagal nang kaso. Napakalinaw naman na ito ay gawa-gawa lamang kaya ako medyo nag-aalala rin ako dun sa aking kaligtasan, sa aking safety," she said.

"Kaya inaayos naman ng aking abugado yung kaso at yung aming depensa and in the proper time, in the proper forum eh haharapin ko, haharapin namin itong kaso na ito,” she added.

Akbayan party-list Representative Tom Villarin, on the other hand, said his party is not involved in the supposed revival of the case. — RSJ, GMA News

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