“The BS government must first cease and desist from its double-standard treatment of NDFP peace consultants, other political as well as petty common crime prisoners, to inhumane prisons to make way for a red carpet jail for senator criminals and other plunderers, ” Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said on today’s hearing on Benito Tiamzon, Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, Rafael Baylosis, Randall Echaniz and Vicente Ladlad.
Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 Judge Thelma B. Medina today ruled on the request of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to transfer detention of NDFP peace consultants Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon from Camp Crame Custodial Center to a Bureau of Jail Management Penology prison facility. Hearing for the charge of multiple murder, Judge Medina conferred with the three other courts which issued commitment orders for the Tiamzon couple to be detained at Camp Crame General Headquarters of the Philippine National Police for being high value prisoners.
The Tiamzon couple are also facing fabricated charges of kidnapping with serious illegal detention at the Quezon City RTC, murder and frustrated murder in Laoang, Northern Samar and illegal possession of explosives in Toledo, Cebu.
The CIDG argued that the PNP does not have the capacity to secure the Tiamzon couple and should therefore be transferred to the detention facility where the cases against them are filed.
“Paanong walang kakayahan ang PNP kung hinahanda nga nila ang maaaring kulungan ng mga senador na nangurakot ng pera ng taumbayan?” (How is it that the PNP does not have the capacity [to detain the Tiamzon couple] when they are preparing the detention of senators who plundered the people’s money?) said Enriquez.
Karapatan, together with other progressive mass organizations, held a picket protest in front of the Manila Regional Trial Court during today’s hearing to call for the release of detained NDFP peace consultants and all political prisoners.
Photos from Kodao Production and Kathy Yamzon
Footage from Karapatan.org