Lawyers for alleged communist leaders Benito Tiamzon and his wife, Wilma, on Tuesday asked a Quezon City court to dismiss charges of kidnapping with serious illegal detention filed against them.
In a 19-page omnibus motion to dismiss the case, the Public Interest Law Center and the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers also asked the court to set aside the April 8, 2014 arraignment of the accused , saying the proceedings were invalid.
The motion was filed before the sala of Judge Madonna Echiverri of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81.
The Tiamzon camp said the kidnapping with serious illegal detention case must be deemed absorbed in the rebellion case that was dismissed by the Supreme Court (SC) on June 1, 2007 since the incidents were in furtherance of rebellion.
The couple were charged for the alleged abduction of Lieutenants Clarito Santos, Oscar Singson, Rommel Salamanca and Abraham Casis on May 1, 1988 in Taguan, Candelaria, Quezon, and that of Sergeant John Jacob of the Narcotics Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, on June 1, 1988 in Mauban, Quezon.
”The separate prosecution of the cases must no longer be allowed. They should be deemed to have been terminated with the dismissal of the rebellion case in Makati [City] by the SC, of which they are mere ingredients,” the lawyers stated in their motion.
On their clients’ arraignment, they claimed that the proceedings were invalid, citing Section 14, Article 3, of the 1987 Constitution that states, “No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.”
“The accused were informed of such arraignment late afternoon of April 7. Although they were able to communicate to their counsel and informed them about the setting, there was no sufficient time for the counsel and their clients to confer,” the motion said.
Echiverri gave the prosecution 10 days to comment on the motion.