Court to decide on Tiamzon couple’s motion for provisional liberty to attend peace talks

admin   •   August 11, 2016   •   2782

Wilam (L) and Benito Tiamzon (R).

Wilam (L) and Benito Tiamzon (R).

MANILA — The Manila RTC Branch 32 this morning heard the motion of spouses Benito and Wilma Tiamzon to be released on bail and be allowed to participate in the peace talks in Oslo, Norway which will start this August 20.

The couple was invited as consultants to the resumption of formal negotiations between the government and the rebel group CPP-NPA-NDF.

As directed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, the prosecution did not oppose the motion prompting Judge Thelma Medina to submit it for resolution.

Tiamzons’ lawyer says they will just wait for the resolution of the court.

“It was clear during the hearing that she is aware about the exigency and urgency of the motion given that the resumption [of peace talks] is [already] on August 20,” Atty. Edre Olalia said, Tiamzon couple’s legal counsel.

The lawyer is confident that the court will direct the release of the Tiamzons specially that it was supported by the government’s peace panel and the Office of the Solicitor General.

A similar but separate motion was filed by Adelberto Silva, another peace panel consultant for the National Democratic Front who has been participating in previous talks.

All in all, 22 consultants of the NDF peace panel should be released before the negotiations could resume.

Meanwhile, Tiamzon is confident that the talks will prosper.

“I think there is enough will for both parties to face the issues and for that, we are optimistic that the peace talks could still prosper,” said NDFP peace panel Benito Tiamzon — Roderic Mendoza / UNTV News & Rescue

DILG orders manhunt for Tiamzon couple

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday said it has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify the manhunt for Benito Tiamzon and his wife, Wilma who are allegedly high ranking officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año issued the directive several days after the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 216 sentenced the Tiamzon couple to up to 40 years of imprisonment for kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges.

The Tiamzons were also ordered to pay damages and civil indemnity to the complainant amounting to P225,000.

The cases stemmed from the abduction of Army Lt. Abraham Claro Casis with three other soldiers in Candelaria, Quezon Province. The group was allegedly held captive by members of the New People’s Army for 75 days.

“I have instructed the PNP to intensify the manhunt for these communist terrorists so that they can serve the sentence imposed on them by the court,” Año said in a statement.

“The decision of the Regional Trial Court is a great victory for the Filipino people because of their crimes against humanity. As top leaders of the Communist Party and its armed wing, New People’s Army, they kidnapped, killed, and tortured so many people and burned so many equipment,” he added.

The DILG chief believes that the Tiamzons are still in the country based on intelligence reports.

“I exerted a lot of effort in capturing them in 2014. I was then chief of ISAFP (Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) when they were arrested in March 2014. I spent almost half of my career looking for this couple,” Año said.

The Tiamzon couple was first arrested by government operatives in Barangay Zaragoza, Cebu City in March 2014 after many years of hiding.

But they were released from detention in 2016 to participate as consultants in the peace negotiations between the NDF and the government in Oslo, Norway.

They were ordered re-arrested in August 2018 after the peace talks were subsequently canceled. Both have since failed to appear in court.

“They cannot run and hide forever. Sooner or later, matitimbog din sila ulit at haharapin ang mga kasalanan nila sa ating bayan. I am confident that we will see them behind bars soon,” Año said.

According to the DILG, the couple is also facing multiple murder charges over the Inopacan Massacre where a mass grave was unearthed by soldiers in 2006. The said site was purportedly where suspected military informants within the Communist terrorist groups (CTG) were purged.

CPP founder Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison is also a co-accused in the case.

AFP, PNP: Tiamzons’ conviction a victory for Reds’ victims

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2020

Wilma and Benito Tiamzon

MANILA, Philippines – Military and police officials on Friday lauded the conviction of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon on charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, calling it a victory for the victims of the communist group.

In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Major General Edgard Arevalo said the court’s decision is “a victory for the many victims of atrocities of the NPA particularly orders to conduct murder, arson, extortion, ambushes, bombing and the like that they orchestrated.”

“They were convicted ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ by the Regional Trial Court 216 of Quezon City for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention,” he said.

The Tiamzon couple is believed to be ranking officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 216 found the couple guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years of imprisonment.

The Tiamzons were also ordered to pay damages and civil indemnity to the complainant amounting to P225,000.

“The AFP will continue to hunt them down after they have violated the provisions of their temporary liberty by virtue of their being nominated as consultants in the peace negotiations with the government. They refused to submit themselves to the government after the peace negotiations did not prosper,” Arevalo said.

He also vowed that the AFP would continue to strengthen its resolve to bring other criminals to justice in honor of the victims of the violence perpetrated by the CPP-NPA.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) called the conviction of Tiamzon couple a triumph of justice.

“It is also another success story on the efficiency of our prosecutors of our investigators who secured the validity of evidence presented during trial. Of course, it is also a manifestation of the sins committed by the communist terrorists against our people,” PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Ilbrandi Usana said in a statement.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año also lauded the conviction of the Tiamzons, recalling the efforts to track down and arrest the couple when he was just a military captain.

“I’m very happy malaki kasi yung hirap ko diyan sa paghuli niyan I was the chief of ISAFP (Intelligence Service of the AFP) when they was arrested in March 2014. I just cannot recall the exact date March 20 or 21, I spent half of my career looking for this couple started I was Captain,” he said.

The couple was arrested in 2014 in Cebu City after many years of hiding. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Tiamzon couple gets 40 years in jail over kidnapping, serious illegal detention charges

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Quezon City court has convicted Benito Tiamzon and his wife, Wilma of kidnapping and serious illegal detention over the abduction of a soldier in 1988.

The Tiamzon couple is believed to top officials of the National Democratic Front (NDF), an allied organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 216 found the couple guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years of imprisonment.

The Tiamzons were also ordered to pay damages and civil indemnity to the complainant amounting to P225,000.

The cases stemmed from the abduction of Army Lt. Abraham Claro Casis with three other soldiers in Candelaria, Quezon Province. The group was allegedly held captive by members of the New People’s Army for 75 days.

The case was filed in court in 1990 while the Tiamzons were arrested in 2014.

The couple were released from detention in 2016 to participate as consultants in the peace negotiations between the NDF and the government.

They were ordered re-arrested in August 2018 after the peace talks were subsequently canceled. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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