Case of the Valenzuela 5
Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela- Branch171
Criminal Case No.3964-V-94
Charge: of Kidnapping for Ransom
Accused: Freddie Yambot y delos Santos, Francisco Versoza, Arnilo Gaviola, Marciano Sayasa and Edgardo Lingan
The five are allegedly members of the New People’s Army slapped with trumped up charges of kidnapping for ransom. Their case was heard at the Valenzuela Trial Court and found them “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” the crime of kidnapping for ransom sentencing them to death penalty. The case was sent to the Supreme Court for automatic review. In the review, the court affirmed the decision of the lower court and found Arnilo Gaviola, Marciano Sayasa and Edgardo Lingan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of kidnapping for ransom sentencing them to suffer death penalty.
With respect to Freddie Yambot and Francis Versoza who appealed before the court, judgement of conviction against them is set aside and the trial court is ordered to receive the evidence on their behalf and render judgment based on evidence. Since then their case had just been buried.No hearing was made. No development whatsoever.
The case had been turned over to the office of the president for possible exercise of executive clemency in so far as Gaviola, Lingan and Sayasa are concerned.
After the death penalty was lifted, the sentence became reclusion perpetua.
The 5 of them had stayed in jail for 18 years now.
*Marciano Sayasa – deceased (date)