SC Junks Rebellion Raps vs `Batasan 6’, Others

The Supreme Court (SC) has junked the rebellion charges filed against six representatives of party-list groups and four other leaders of progressive people’s organizations.

Vol. VII, No. 17 June 3-9, 2007

The Supreme Court (SC) has junked the rebellion charges filed against six representatives of party-list groups and four other leaders of progressive people’s organizations.

Charged with rebellion were party-list representatives Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano of AnakPawis (Toiling Masses); Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP); and Joel Virador, Saturnino Ocampo and Teodoro Casiño of Bayan Muna (People First). Also charged were Vicente Ladlad, Nathanael Santiago, Rey Claro Casambre and Randall Echanis. Two cases against them are pending before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City.

The High Court’s Second Division found meritorious the consolidated petitions for the writs of prohibition and certiorari and to set aside the rulings of the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the RTC Makati on the investigation and prosecution of cases.

Justice for Detained Beltran

The High Court ruled that that there is no probable cause to indict Beltran for rebellion. It said, “…none of the affidavits [presented] alleges that Beltran is promoting, maintaining, or heading a rebellion.”

It further said that the inquest proceeding against Beltran for rebellion is void. Beltran was arrested Feb. 25, 2006 by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). He has been detained for 15 months.

Speaking via cellphone before a gathering of activists in front of the Philippine Heart Center on June 1, Beltran thanked the SC for its decision. “At last, we have obtained justice,” he said.


The High Court also found the preliminary investigation of rebellion charges was tainted with irregularities. It chided the prosecutors for failing to comply with the procedure. It states: “…(B)y issuing the subpoenas to petitioners, tolerating the complainant’s antics during the investigation and distributing copies of a witness’ affidavit to members of the media knowing that petitioners have not had the opportunity to examine the charges against them, respondent prosecutors not only trivialized the investigation but also lent credence to petitioners’ claim that the entire proceeding was a sham.”

The SC referred to Jaime Beltran Fuentes, the masked man presented as a witness during the preliminary investigation on March 13, 2006.

The panel of prosecutors is composed of Attys. Emmanuel Velasco, Rosalina Aquino, Aileen Marie Gutierrez, Irwin Maraya, and Maria Cristina Rilloraza.

The SC noted the DoJ’s “lack of impartiality.”

“Malacañang failed”

Mariano said that the SC decision is a “big slap on the Arroyo government.”

In a statement, Ocampo said, “We are vindicated. This is a triumph of truth and justice over the Arroyo administration’s invented and unfair charge against duly-elected people’s representatives. President Arroyo and her fascist cabal tried their worst to crush the progressive party-list bloc in Congress. They miserably failed. We still won in the elections and in Supreme Court.”

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez announced he will appeal the SC decision.

Beltran said, “Time and again we have been told to submit to the authority of the judicial system, and we did. Now that the High Court came out with a decision that rightly and fairly favors us, Malacañang is sorely contesting it. Parang pikon lang talaga ang administrasyong Arroyo (It seems the Arroyo administration is really just piqued).”

Beltran said that Gonzalez must accept defeat. “He should acknowledge that he can only go so far with his abuse of authority and machinations,” he said.


Beltran is hopeful he will be freed very early on Monday, June 4. He said, “It’s been a very trying 15 months; I don’t want to spend another minute in detention given that there’s so much work to be done,” he said.(

Share This Post