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Murder raps vs 4 ex-solons reminiscent of martial rule, says priest

Murder raps vs 4 ex-solons reminiscent of martial rule, says priest



Manila, Philippines

August 1, 2018

A Catholic priest said the revival of 12-year old charges against four former leftist lawmakers and government officials is reminiscent of “deplorable tactics” used by the government during the martial law.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez of the church’s National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa) raised suspicion over the revival of the case and said that it may be just another move to silence the opposition.

“Arrest warrants issued based from trumped up charges for activists and militants are common strategy of the military and the government to harass and to silence opposition,” Gariguez said.

“We support the causes of Ka Paeng (Mariano) et al. We demand to stop tyranny and harassment of progressive groups,” he said.

A Nueva Ecija court has earlier issued warrant of arrests of former congressmen Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna), National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Maza (Gabriela), and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis) in connection with a multiple murder case filed in 2006.

The four were accused of conspiring to kill two people in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has since ordered the manhunt for the four militant leaders.

Malacañang has also urged Maza to surrender, face the charges against her and prove her innocence.