Communist leaders hunted

MANILA — Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon are now the subject of a manhunt after a Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) ordered their re-arrest following the collapse of the peace talks.

With the court order, directing the recapture of the Tiamzon couple, Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, Philippine National Police spokesman, said the PNP is ready to comply with the directive.

Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 32 Judge Thelma Bunyi Medina issued the order after she granted the Department of Justice’s motion for recommitment and cancellation of the P100,000 bail of the Taimzon couple and their co-accused National Democratic Front (NDF) leader Adelberto Silva. The order, dated January 11, 2018, was released on Wednesday.

“Well, we follow the order of the court, we follow the order of the RTC in Manila for the re-arrest of the (Tiamzon) couple and whoever personalities are included (in the order),” Carlos said.

Earlier, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the PNP should hunt down the couple.

Carlos said it would be easy to locate the whereabouts of the Tiamzons and Silva since they have been monitored by the PNP-Intelligence Group (IG).

“Even if they were temporarily released for the purpose of the peace talks, they really have to answer for the violation of the law before the court kasi they were charged accordingly,” Carlos said.

“Again babalik lang naman tayo doon sa… they should answer for the violation of the law before the court,” he added.

The Tiamzons were arrested in Cebu in March, 2014 over murder charges.

Carlos said that the normal procedure include the giving of the copies of the warrants of arrest to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), which would then implement it with all other PNP units.

Meanwhile, the camp of Tiamzons said they would appeal the court’s re-arrest order.

The Tiamzons were implicated in the murder of 15 persons believed to be tied to a purge among communist rebels in Leyte in 1980s and arrested in 2014.

In August, 2016, they were temporarily freed after they were allowed to post bail to serve as consultants for the peace negotiations between the government (GRP) and the CPP-NPA-NDF.

But the peace negotiation was terminated by President Duterte following an ambush in Bukidnon in November, 2017, resulting in the death of a policeman and a four-month-old baby.