- The Supreme Court denied the release petition of the 11 rebels for the set peace talks with the government this month
- SC said that they do not have the jurisdiction over the rebels' cases, considering the criminal charges filed against them
- The Duterte administration petitioned for the temporary release of the 11 rebels for the said peace talks
The Supreme Court denied the petition of President Rodrigo Duterte administration for the temporary release of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman Benito Tiamzon with 10 other detainees for the set peace talks with the government scheduled on August 20-27 in Oslo.
The decision was made on August 2, following an en banc session where Solicitor General Jose Calida petition was tackled. Calida told SC that Duterte had allowed the rebels and had issued an order for them to join the peace talks and leave the country as indicated in the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). The agreement will grant safe passes to Oslo which was signed by both parties.
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The High Tribunal confirmed that the bail of three other rebel – former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo, Vicente Ladlad, and Randall Echanis – who are set to participate in the panel are valid, the bail having been granted during the Aquino administration. The three are set to join the talks but with certain conditions.
SC said that considering the various criminal charges of the 11 rebels, they do not have jurisdiction over the cases. The Court added that Calida should have raised the release petition to the trial courts and that the lower courts should immediately act on the petitions.
The Court stated: “To grant temporary and conditional liberty to these personalities may have the inadvertent but irremediable effect of pre-empting the trial courts’ own determinations in the exercise of their original jurisdiction to try the cases before them.”
The 11 detainees include Tiamzon with his wife Wilma Tiamzon, Rafael Baylosis, Tirso Alcantara, Alex Birondo, Winona Birondo, Maria Concepcion Bocala, Reynante Gamara, Allan Jazmines, Ma. Loida Magpatoc, and Adelberto Silva.
Baylosis, who is not detained, is still facing criminal charges that are filed against him such as 15 counts of murder charges and two others. - Kami Media