The Leyte case – “revival of martial law years”

“This trial is a revival of the martial law years. It’s sickening.” 

It has been nearly ten years since the late Senator Joker Arroyo uttered these words when he took the witness stand on February 27, 2009 at the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 in defense of Vicente Ladlad, one of the respondents in the government-manufactured case involving the purported discovery of a mass grave at Inopacan, Leyte of supposed victims of execution by the CPP-NPA. 

Arroyo testified that he was the lead counsel for Ladlad when the latter was a political prisoner from 1983 to 1986 in Camp Nakar in Lucena City, Quezon, and that by virtue of his detention, Ladlad could not have participated in any alleged killing in Leyte in 1985. 

Arroyo was then vice chair of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), a group of lawyers providing legal support for political prisoners and other victims of human rights violations during martial law. He also identified numerous case records in support of his testimony about his then client Vicente Ladlad. 

The Leyte case, which was initiated in 2006, has been running for over 12 years now because of the AFP-PNP’s orchestrated parade of perjured witnesses who are not only intellectually disreputable but barely comprehensible in their made-up stories. 

Arroyo’s testimony tears to shreds of infirmity the statement of one Glecerio Roluna about Vic’s involvement in the Leyte case when the undisputable fact is, Vic was locked up in jail from February 1983 until March 1986 when all political prisoners were ordered freed by President Cory Aquino following the EDSA uprising.

Vic’s political imprisonment during the period of this farcical case is of public record. Vic, who is now a political prisoner at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan for a trumped-up case of planted firearms, is recognized by the Human Rights Victims Claims Board as a victim of political imprisonment and torture during martial law. 

Ironically, this Glecerio Roluna now being utilized by government prosecutors as their witness in this star chamber case is the same Glecerio Roluna who had been charged in the earlier case involving alleged victims of purging by the CPP/NPA whose skeletal remains were supposedly found in Brgy. Monterico, Baybay, Leyte on 27 June 2000 and that were the same alleged victims whose skeletal remains were also supposedly found in Mt. Sapang Dako, Brgy. Kaulisihan, Inopacan, Leyte on 28 August 2006.  

This case in Baybay, Leyte had been dismissed by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 14 in Leyte because the prosecution had failed to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt as no iota of evidence is present. 

What gives in this recycling of witnesses and dismissed cases? The Leyte case has set the bar so low yet it has become the golden standard for manufactured cases of political persecution. It occupies star chamber status in the recent proscription case to blacklist known activists as CPP-NPA personalities.

Joker Arroyo is turning in his grave. 

Reference: Fides Lim (09189193709)