THE Supreme Court (SC) stood by its decision to allow a Manila court to try former Bayan Muna partylist representative Satur Ocampo and three other militant leaders on multiple murder cases.
SC spokesperson Theodore Te said Tuesday the Court issued a minute resolution denying the motion for reconsideration filed by respondent Vicente Ladlad regarding the SC's ruling on February 11 that ordered the Manila Regional Trial Court to resume hearings.
That decision dismissed the consolidated petitions filed by Ocampo, Ladlad, Randall Echanis and Rafael Baylosis assailing the hearing of cases involving the discovery of a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte in August 2006.
The mass grave, which was dug up by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), allegedly contained bones of some 65 people believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who were suspected of tipping military officials about the communist rebels’ operations.
"The revival of these trumped up charges against Ocampo and the peace consultants signals the intensification of political persecution under the Aquino administration," said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay in a statement.
The four are currently out on bail granted by the SC in 2007.
Their temporary liberty is good until the termination of the criminal case or actual participation of Echanis, Baylosis and Ladlad as consultants of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) in the peace negotiation with the government, which have been stalled since last year. (Sunnex)