MANILA - The head of the Philippine National Police is urging an anti-poverty official and 3 former representatives of leftist group Bayan Muna to surrender to authorities in connection with a 14-year-old double murder charge.
A Nueva Ecija court issued arrest warrants 2 weeks ago against former Bayan Muna party-list Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño, former Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano, and National Anti-Poverty Commission convenor and former Gabriela party-list Rep. Liza Maza, who were accused in 2006 of killing of political party-list rivals.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said he has ordered operatives to serve the arrest warrant.
He added: "I'm also appealing to these individuals to just turn over themselves in and submit themselves to judicial processes."
Lawyer Neri Colmenares, himself a former representative of Bayan Muna, had claimed that the case was filed to discourage dissent during the time of then-President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
"We're part of the opposition and President Arroyo was intolerant of dissent," he told ANC on Sunday.
"Years later we are surprised the case is still there. But of course, we will have to face these charges in court and we are very confident that these will be dismissed," Colmenares added.
A similar case was filed before the Comelec to disqualify Bayan Muna but was dismissed.