N. Ecija court junks murder charges vs Maza, 3 others; cancels arrest warrants
A trial court in Nueva Ecija has dismissed the murder charges against National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) head Liza Maza and three other left-leaning former party-list representatives.
In an order dated August 8, but released to public on Monday, Acting Presiding Judge Trese D. Wenceslao of the Palayan City, Nueva Ecija RTC, also dismissed the cases against former Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano.
“Considering that the evidence on hand absolutely fails to support the finding of probable cause against accused-movants, the motion for reconsideration is hereby granted,” Wenceslao said.
With the dismissal of the charges, the warrants of arrest issued on July 11, 2018 against the four were also voided.
Since Judge Evelyn Turla of the Palayan City RTC issued the warrants against Maza and the three other former officials, they went into hiding. They claimed that the warrants were based on trumped-up charges that were filed against them during the administration of former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
They were charged for the death of Akbayan members Jimmy Peralta and Carlito Bayudang in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
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