Former President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1836 on January 16, 1981 which stated, “During a state of martial law or when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended, the President may issue orders of arrest or commitment orders as to any person whose arrest or detention is, in the judgment of the President, required by public safety and as a means to repel or quell an invasion, insurrection or rebellion, or imminent danger thereof.”
The decree further read, “The person so arrested or detained shall not be released until so ordered by the President or his duly authorized representative.”
Letter of Instruction No. 1211, dated March 9, 1982, read, “When issued, the Presidential Commitment Order shall constitute authority to arrest the subject person or persons and keep him or them under detention until ordered released by the President or his duly authorized representative.”
In an interview with Bulatlat, Fides Lim, Ladlad’s wife, said, “It [the hearing] reminded Joker of martial law. It brought him back to a similar court situation during martial law. It brought back those old memories.”
Lim said further, “It also reminded me [of martial law]. I was also a political detainee. They were our lawyers. It reminded Joker of his days with the FLAG [Free Legal Assistance Group].”
Lim said Arroyo’s testimony effectively exposes and junks the DOJ’s trumped up Leyte murder case.
Lawyer Ernesto Francisco Jr., Ladlad’s counsel, said, “It is a recycled case using some of the victims and witnesses of another case that had long been dismissed.”
Lim, in a briefer she wrote on the case, said that Ladlad and 24 other alleged New People’s Army (NPA) leaders were earlier charged with multiple murder on July 18, 2000 in connection with dead bodies allegedly found in Brgy. Monterico, Baybay, Leyte. The complaint alleged that the skeletal remains were those of the victims of a purge within the NPA ranks and were buried sometime in the months of June, August and September 1985.