A LOCAL court has ordered the arrest anew of communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon after it granted a motion by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their recommitment to detention following the failure of the peace talks between the government and the leftists.
In its January 11 ruling, which was released to media on Wednesday, Presiding Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina of Branch 32 of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) said:
“In light of President Rodrigo [Rodrigo] Duterte’s express and categorical declaration, with the issuance of Proclamation 360, formally terminating the peace talks with the CPP/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front [NDF], which issuance said accused does not dispute, the Court finds no reason to further allow their temporary liberty,” the court said.
The Tiamzons were released from detention after posting a P100,000 bail on August 2017 when they were added to the list of consultants for the peace talks. They are charged with multiple counts of murder for the alleged deaths of civilians whose bodies were discovered in a mass grave in Leyte in 1986.
On January 10, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said: “We are monitoring them. We will wait for the order of the President. If he orders their arrest, then we are going to arrest them.”
The President called off peace talks in 2017 after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) ordered its military arm, the New People’s Army (NPA), to intensify attacks on government troops. RAADEE S. SAUSA