SECURITY personnel manning the Quezon City justice hall building were caught by surprise when some 1,000 militants managed to sneak in and blocked the main gate and demanded the immediate release from detention of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leaders Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma on Tuesday.
The Tiamzons who were arrested in March this year in Cebu are facing kidnapping and illegal detention charges and were scheduled to have their pre-trial hearing also on the same day.
As a result of the protest, court hearings were suspended for the day as police scoured the whole building for possible explosives after the protesters were dispersed.
Investigators are looking at how the jeeploads of militants managed to infiltrate and enter the justice hall building.
The militants’ move was part of a big program scheduled also on Tuesday and dubbed “Protestang Magsasaka Laban sa Diktadura ng Hacienderong Rehimeng US-Aquino” (Peasants’ Protest Against the Dictatorship of US-Aquino Regime).
The nationally-coordinated peasants’ protest not only called to “free the Tiamzons and all political prisoners” but also expressedtheir opposition to a proposed Charter change to pave the way for term extension of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Rafael Mariano, chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), said the unconditional dropping of charges and release of the Tiamzon couple is in compliance with previous agreements particularly the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees.
He chided the Aquino administration for its refusal to comply with the agreement and its continued refusal to resume peace negotiations with the rebels.
Earlier, the Tiamzons demanded their release from detention, claiming that they were politically prosecuted.
In a statement, they insisted that they were not in Quezon on February 1988 when the alleged abduction of four military officials of the Philippine Army and one Narcotics Command agent happened.