The Ilocos Sur Provincial Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed the rebellion charges filed in Candon City, last July, against National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Elizabeth Principe.
BY ROD TAJON, JR.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Posted by Bulatlat
CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur ( 347 kms. north of Manila)– The Ilocos Sur Provincial Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the rebellion charges filed here, last July, against National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Elizabeth Principe.
The three-page resolution signed by Fiscal Redentor Cardenas stated that “the participation of the accused Elizabeth Principe was not actual but only presumed. Under the basic tenets of Criminal Law, any doubt should always be interpreted in favor of the innocence of the accused.”
As a result of the preliminary investigation ordered by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 23 Judge Gabino Balbin Jr., the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office found no probable cause for the crime of rebellion. It was resolved that her name be dropped from the rebellion charge in Criminal Case No. 1260 in Candon City, Ilocos Sur RTC Branch 23 and that her case be dismissed.
Principe, through her lawyers from the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) and the Cordillera Indigenous People’s Legal Center (Dinteg) submitted her counter-affidavit August 5, after the court gave her 15 days to submit her statement.
Principe stated in her counter-affidavit that she worked as a paramedic in Cagayan Valley until she was arrested on Nov. 28, 2007 by virtue of the case filed against her at the Candon City RTC. She noted the evidence against her was based on hearsay.
Witnesses Gaspar Bagsingit, Orlando Maguinsay and S/Sgt. Victoriano Jallorina accused her of being a high- ranking officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). They said she was involved in an alleged strafing of Jallorina’s house in Ilocos Sur by the NPA in 1991.
Principe denied such accusations and claimed she never set foot in Ilocos Sur except during her arraignment in January this year, after she was secretly transferred by the Philippine National Police (PNP) from Camp Crame.
Her counter-affidavit concluded that nobody was able to prove that she was part or participated in the pursuit of rebellion against the government or any of its instrumentalities.