By Genalyn Kabiling
The dismissal of the murder cases against National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) lead convenor Liza Maza and three former party-list lawmakers is part of due process, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
Bello, also chief government peace negotiator, said the arrest warrants against the four former lawmakers must be voided now that the case has been junked by the court.
“That’s due process, and after due process, we have to accept the rule of law. If the case is dismissed, then the warrant should be quashed,” Bello said during a media interview win Malacañang.
A Nueva Ecija court has reportedly dismissed the murder cases against Maza, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, and former Bayan Muna party-list Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño due to insufficient evidence. They have been accused of involvement in the murder of three supporters of rival Akbayan party-list group in 2006.
The court granted the motion for reconsideration filed by the respondents to dismiss the case and nullify the arrest warrants against them.
Last month, a court issued arrest warrants against the four former lawmakers in connection with the murder complaint. The police launched a manhunt against the former lawmakers while an anti-crime watchdog offered a P1 million reward for any information about their whereabouts.
The Palace has even urged Maza and others to surrender and face the charges in court.