The hearing today on the motion for the judicial determination of probable cause filed by Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Maza, Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casino (Bayan Muna) and Rep. Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis) has been reset to May 12 by Judge Evelyn Turla of Branch 40, Palayan City Nueva Ecija RTC. This after the prosecution declared that the CIDG is requesting 5 days or until April 30 to comment on the motion.

The defense was meanwhile ordered to submit jurisprudence that the 10-day period given the judge to determineprobable cause for the issuance of a warrant is not mandatory.

Rep. Maza who made her apperance at the court along with the co-accused, maintained the murder and kidnapping charges filed against them are part of a grand Malacanang scheme to remove progressive partylists from Congress.

“The charges are fabricated and the evidence, preposterous. We remain confident that a fair and just assessment, based solely on the merits of the case filed against us would result to a dismissal of the case,” said Rep. Maza.

Maza explained that In their motion, the defense cited several inconsistencies in the charges against them. “They accuse us, for example of collaborating for the purported murder of Jimmy Peralta who was in fact killed in a road accident. A spot report released the day after his accident, reveals that Peralta in fact hit a certain Marlon Banicod with his motorcycle, causing Peralta to fall down and consequently ran over by a vehicle in the opposite direction. The statements against us are preposterous. ”

The same charges were used in May 2007 in an attempt to disqualify Gabriela Women’s Party, Bayan Muna and Anakpawis from participating in
the partylist elections. The disqualification case was dismissed for lack of merit.

“This is plain and simple political persecution. A clear indication of the Arroyo government’s determination to eliminate the political opposition despite being closely watched by the international community. This continuing political persecution is a clear indication of the government’s desperation as it carries on with its corrupt practices and bankrupt economic policies while failing to appease growing public unrest with propaganda.” #


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Filed under Human Rights, News Release, Persecution, Political

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