Tiamzons ask court to deny gov't plea for their rearrest

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 14 2017 08:26 PM

Communist leaders Benito Tiamzon (R) and his wife Wilma (L) raise clenched fists as they prepare to board their vehicle after attending a rally outside the gates of Camp Crame shortly after their release from detention on August 19, 2016. Ted Aljibe, Agence France-Presse

MANILA- Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon have opposed the government’s bid for their rearrest following the collapse of peace negotiations.

The Tiamzon couple and another rebel, Adelberto Silva, filed a joint comment before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 Wednesday urging the court to deny government’s plea to take them back into custody.

The Tiamzons and Silva are on trial for murder in connection with the discovery of a mass grave in Leyte, where alleged victims of the communist rebel purge in the 1980s were buried. 

They were released from detention upon government’s request in August, when they were tapped as consultants in peace negotiations between government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. 

In their joint comment, the Tiamzons said the Department of Justice (DOJ) had failed to submit to court a formal notice of the termination of the peace talks.

“The prosecution’s prayer for the recommitment of herein accused and the issuance of warrants of arrest against them is like a Gordian knot difficult to undo, and will certainly defeat all efforts and expectations by various peace advocates, including the Royal Norwegian Government as third-party facilitator, to pursue the peace talks as a venue to address the root cause of the armed conflict,” the comment read.

The pleading further said granting government's request would render moot and academic "efforts and overwhelming calls toward the resumption of the peace negotiations.”

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 360 on November 23 declaring the termination of peace talks with the communist movement following a series of rebel attacks on state forces.

Duterte also ordered the DOJ to ask the courts to declare the CPP-NPA as terror organizations.