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SC affirms clearance for Manila court murder trial of Satur, 3 NDF consultants
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed its February ruling giving the Manila City Regional Trial Court Branch 32 the go-ahead to proceed with the multiple murder trial of former Bayan Muna Rep. Saturnino Ocampo and three other consultants of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front in connection with the discovery of a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte some eight years ago.

Also covered by the order are Vicente Ladlad, Randall Echanis and Rafael Baylosis.

The high tribunal’s public information office said, “The Court denied the Motion for Reconsideration of its decision dated February 11, 2014 filed on March 11, 2014 by counsel for petitioner Vicente Ladlad in a Minute Resolution.”

Voting 15-0 last February 11, the SC dismissed the consolidated petitions of the respondents questioning the proceedings and the issuance of the arrest warrants. The SC said, however, that the respondents shall remain on temporary liberty until the end or termination of the criminal case by the Manila court.

The mass grave discovered in August 2006 by elements of the Army’s 43rrd Infantry Battalion bore the bodies of 15 civilians allegedly killed as part of the communist rebels’ campaign to rid its ranks of deep-penetration agents from the government.

The government then filed the case with Branch 18 of the Hilongos RTC which issued the warrants but the respondents questioned the proceedings before the SC, which allowed them to post bail for their temporary liberty.