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Militant leaders demand President Duterte to respect the rights of the accused

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Former leftist lawmakers and their allies have been issued with outstanding arrest warrants on the revival of the persecution against Makabayan bloc members of the House of Representatives on double murder charges.

This stemmed from their alleged plot to kill Jimmy Peralta on Dec. 3, 2003 and Carlito Bayudang on May 6, 2004 in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija. Peralta, who was run over by a car was allegedly mistaken for his brother, Ricardo, who was the alleged real target.

But for their lawyer, Rachel Pastores, the revival of the persecution of her clients is just a political persecution because the Makabayan bloc members of the House of Representatives opposed then President now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo 12 years ago.

Former Gabriela Representative and current National Anti Poverty Commission Chair Liza Maza who said, “It is perhaps no coincidence that this charge has resurfaced just as Arroyo assumed speakership of the House—a former President with an axe to grind”. Maza denounced the “continuing political persecution” by “rightists and militarists” within the Duterte administration seeking to oust her as NAPC head.

Last Friday, the Makabayan bloc called the arrest order as a “classic Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo move… being revived, especially now that she is the new House Speaker and is once again vying for more power.”

Renato Reyes, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary General said,  “it was easy to file the “trumped-up charges” under a “climate of impunity.” We call on the Duterte administration to respect the rights of the accused”..

For Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said, “Malacañang respected the courts independence. Therefore, let the legal process take its course”. Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office Director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said the officers would immediately serve the warrants once they get copies of them.

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