“That is a lie.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – A peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) denied allegations that he is a ranking official of the underground movement – an allegation made four years ago by a “professional military witness.”
“That is a lie,” peace consultant Eduardo Serrano said during his cross-examination at the hearing of the multiple murder and frustrated murder charges against him at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 100 last June 25.
Serrano is the longest detained NDFP consultant who has been languishing in jail since 2004.
In March 2011, Army Private First Class Rizaldy Osio testified against Serrano, identifying him as “Rogelio Villanueva,” a ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines who uses the alias “Ka Macling.”
Serrano referred to Osio as a “professional military witness.”
Serrano graduated with a degree in agriculture from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos back in 1976. He also received a scholarship for a post-graduate study on animal science in Copenhagen from August 1978 to June 1979.
He is a founding member of the Southern Tagalog-based peasant group Kasama-TK and offered consultancy on farming and irrigation for both peasant groups and private individuals.
His lawyer Ameh Santos of the Public Interest Law Center told Bulatlat.com that the presentation of evidence ended today. Both the defense and prosecution team would now submit their documentary evidence and that the case would be up for promulgation, unless the prosecution submits a motion for rebuttal evidence.
There are 17 NDFP peace consultants in detention and are facing criminal cases. The NDFP, along with human rights groups, had been calling for their release, asserting that they are covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) signed by the government and the NDFP.