Karapatan condemns Aquino regime’s moves to prolong detention of NDFP peace consultants

"We condemn the BS Aquino government's latest moves to prolong the detention of National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultants Leopoldo Caloza and Renante Gamara," Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

Leopoldo CalozaRenante Gamara 

Leopoldo Caloza, 58 years old, was arrested in 2006, during the height of extrajudicial killings and illegal arrests under the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regime, and has been detained for nine long years. "He was charged with twenty two (22) trumped-up cases. As he endured years of detention, all charges, except for one, have been dismissed,” Palabay explained. However, on August 11, at the Special Intensive Care Area - 1, Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, where Caloza is detained, he was served different warrants of arrest for a murder and an attempted murder charge. These charges have long been archived by the San Jose Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 39, the murder charge in 1994 and attempted murder charge in 2005. 

Just when Caloza's long wait for his release is nearing to an end, the BS Aquino government came up with a way to keep him in jail," Palabay said. 

On August 14, Taguig RTC Branch 266 denied Renante Gamara's motion to quash for trumped-up kidnapping and murder charges –charges he is falsely accused together with other NDFP consultants and political prisoners. Two other trumped-up cases, murder and frustrated murder filed at the Infanta, Quezon RTC are also being heard at the pre-trial stage. The complainant-witness on this case, PFC Ronald Bamba, allegedly heard NPA members do a roll call after an ambush operation and heard more than 20 names, including Gamara's and other names of political prisoners. 

Gamara has been at the Camp Crame Custodial Center for more than three years now. 

"The BS Aquino government obviously has no intent to talk peace with the NDFP. They would rather bail out plunderers like Sen. Enrile than release peace consultants, even based on the merits of their cases, which are all trumped-up," Palabay said.

 

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