Resolution condemning the warrant of arrest against the #Makabayan4

RESOLUTION

EXPRESSING UTMOST CONCERN ON THE ISSUANCE OF WARRANTS OF ARREST ON THE TWO MURDER CHARGES FOR FORMER FOUR MAKABAYAN LAWMAKERS SATUR OCAMPO AND TEDDY CASIÑO, NOW NATIONAL ANTI-POVERTY COMMISSION LIZA MAZA AND FORMER DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM SECRETARY RAFAEL MARIANO AND IMPLORING THE PALAYAN REGIONAL TRIAL COURT TO RECONSIDER THE ARREST ORDER AGAINST THE FOUR LEGISLATORS

 

WHEREAS, last July 11, warrants of arrest were issued by the Palayan Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 40 under Judge Evelyn Atienza-Turla for former Bayan Muna Congressmen Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño, as well as former Gabriela Women’s Party representative and now National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Chairperson Liza Maza and former Anakpawis Partylist representative and former Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano among others on the charge of murder of Jimmy Peralta on Dec. 23, 2003 and of Carlito Bayudang on May 6, 2004;

WHEREAS, the July 11, 2018 arrest order of Judge Atienza-Turla directly contradicts her order dated July 18, 2008. Ten years ago, the same judge said that she could not found probable cause, or reason to issue warrants of arrest against the four accused. According to Judge Turla, the supposed “principal witnesses against Ocampo et al did not appear before the panel of investigators”.  They also failed to subscribe and swear to their supposed affidavits before the panel of investigators as required by law.  She concluded in her 2008 Order that “the Court cannot accept the panel of prosecutors’ assertion of having found probable cause by merely relying on the ‘unsubscribed’ affidavits of the witnesses for the prosecution”;

WHEREAS, there is no explanation for the reversal of Turla’s order despite being based on the same evidence, facts, and circumstances. Law requires all judges to clearly explain their decisions or orders, with factual and legal basis, for fairness and due process;

WHEREAS, to begin with there might be no murder case as far as one supposed target, Jimmy Peralta, died in a vehicular accident, as attested by police spot reports;

WHEREAS, the claim that the former Makabayan lawmakers ordered the killings of Peralta and Bayudang to ensure Bayan Muna victory appeared unbelievable and preposterous. The murder order for electoral purposes defy facts and logic. Bayan Muna garnered 1.7 million votes in the 2001 elections way above the threshold to gain 3 seats; it had surplus votes of half a million;

WHEREAS, the alleged murder charges were discredited in different legal venues. The Commission on Election in June 2007 ruled against a petition for cancellation of registration of Bayan Muna because the petition was based on “unsubstantiated statements”. The Supreme Court and RTC Makati Branch 150 in July 2007 dismissed rebellion charges, hinged on the same evidence among others; The RTC Guimba, Nueva Ecija Branch 31 in August 2008 dismissed a murder charge, based on the same affidavits, for failure to establish the participation of the four former Makabayan lawmakers in the alleged conspiracy. The RTC Quezon City Branch 95 in June 2016 granted some P380,000 damages to Ocampo and Bayan Muna against witnesses who made unsubstantiated accusations and false statements;

WHEREAS, the former Makabayan legislators through their counsel the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) filed a motion for reconsideration last July 30 seeking to reverse the recent ruling finding probable cause on the said twin murder charges and to quash the arrest warrant against them;

WHEREAS, Ocampo, Casiño, Maza and Mariano are esteemed and respected former representatives of the House of Representatives. Former Rep. Mariano even served as a secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the Duterte administration and Former Rep. Maza is still serving as the NAPC chair in the same administration; 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives express its utmost concern on the issuance of warrants of arrest for former Makabayan lawmakers Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño, now National Anti-Poverty Commission Chairperson Liza Maza and former Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano and implore the Palayan Regional Trial Court to reconsider the arrest order against the four legislators.

 

 

Adopted,

 

 

Rep. CARLOS ISAGANI T. ZARATE

Bayan Muna Partylist

 

 

Rep. ANTONIO L. TINIO                                           Rep. EMMI A. DE JESUS

      ACT Teachers Partylist                                               Gabriela Women’s Party

  

Rep. FRANCE L. CASTRO                                         Rep. ARLENE D. BROSAS

     ACT Teachers Partylist                                                     Gabriela Women’s Party

 

 

Rep. ARIEL B. CASILAO                                   Rep. SARAH JANE I. ELAGO

        Anakpawis Partylist                                                           Kabataan Partylist

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