33 lawmakers denounce arrest warrants vs Liza Maza, 3 others
MANILA, Philippines – A total of 33 lawmakers signed a resolution expressing the “utmost concern” of the House of Representatives over the issuance of arrest warrants against former party-list representatives Liza Maza, Rafael Mariano, Satur Ocampo, and Teddy Casiño.
House Resolution 2064 was primarily filed on Thursday, August 9, by the following 7 lawmakers forming the House Makabayan bloc, the same group Maza, Mariano, Ocampo, and Casiño were part of:
- Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate
- ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio and France Castro
- Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas
- Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao
- Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago
“Now therefore, be it resolved that the House of Representatives express its utmost concern on the issuance of warrants of arrest for former Makabayan lawmakers Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño, now National Anti-Poverty Commission chairperson Liza Maza and former Department of Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano, and implore the Palayan Regional Trial Court to reconsider the arrest order against the 4 legislators,” reads HR 2064.
The resolution denounces the arrest order issued on July 11 by Presiding Judge Evelyn Turla of the Regional Trial Court in Palayan, Nueva Ecija, reviving a 4-year-old case.
Turla argued probable cause was already found against Maza, Mariano, Ocampo, and Casiño – now being dubbed as the “Makabayan 4” – in the murder charges filed against them in 2006.
But lawmakers said in HR 2064 that no explanation has been provided for the reversal of Turla’s order.
“Law requires all judges to clearly explain their decisions or orders, with factual and legal basis, for fairness and due process…. To begin with, there might be no murder case as far as one supposed target, Jimmy Peralta, died in a vehicular accident, as attested by police spot reports,” said the legislators.
They added the alleged murder charges against the Makabayan 4 were already “discredited in different legal venues," like the Commission on Elections, Supreme Court, and the Regional Trial Court branches in Makati, Nueva Ecija, and Quezon City.
HR 2064 will still have to be referred to the appropriate committee during its first reading, and can either be approved or rejected at the committee level. If approved, the resolution will have to pass through its second and third readings before being adopted by the House plenary.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque urged Maza to surrender to authorities.
Here is the complete list of lawmakers who signed HR 2064
- Carlos Zarate, Bayan Muna
- Antonio Tinio, ACT Teachers
- France Castro, ACT Teachers
- Emmi de Jesus, Gabriela Women’s Party
- Arlene Brosas, Gabriela Women’s Party
- Ariel Casilao, Anakpawis
- Sarah Elago, Kabataan
- Tom Villarin, Akbayan
- Michelle Antonio, Agbiag
- Jose Panganiban Jr, ANAC-IP
- Michael Romero, 1-Pacman
- Enrico Pineda, 1-Pacman
- Arnel Ty, LPGMA
- Ron Salo, Kabayan
- Oreste Salon, Agri
- Raymond Mendoza, TUCP
- Virgilio Lacson, Manila-Teachers
- Victor Yap, Tarlac 2nd District
- Randolph Ting, Cagayan 3rd District
- Sandra Eriguel, La Union 2nd District
- Baby Vargas-Alfonso, Cagayan 2nd District
- Napoleon Dy, Isabela 3rd District
- Edcel Lagman Albay 1st District
- John Marvin Nieto, Manila 3rd District
- Pablo Ortega, La Union 1st District
- Kit Belmonte, Quezon City 6th District
- Erlpe Amante, Agusuan del Norte 2nd District
- Isagani Amatong, Zamboanga del Norte 3rd District
- Rolando Uy, Cagayan de Oro 1st District
- Manuel Jose Dalipe, Zamboanga City 2nd District
- Rose Marie Arenas, Pangasinan 3rd District
- Raul Daza, Northern Samar 1st District
- Eric Singson, Ilocos Sur 2nd District
Read the fully copy of HR 2064 below: