What an injustice to the man. Hinuli siya, ikinulong, tapos wala naman palang ebidensiya laban sa kanya. Anya met.
From Sunstar Baguio: THE Benguet Provincial Jail practically became the residence of Bayan Muna leader Jose Cawiding, since his detention in October last year.
But in an order signed last March 16 by Bontoc Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 35 Presiding Judge Joseph Patnaan, Cawiding and co-accused Leticia Banasan were ordered released and charges against them provisionally dismissed.
The prosecution failed to present their witnesses despite a series of hearings scheduled for the presentation of evidence.
A provisional dismissal allows the filing or revival of the old case if a witness to the case surfaces. If no witness is presented in two years from the issuance of the order, the provisional dismissal is deemed permanent.
Arrested for eight counts of murder and one for frustrated murder, Cawiding and Banasan were released from detention last Wednesday.
Cawiding, Banasan and six others were charged for the deaths of eight members of the Philippine Army, as well as the wounding of one another in an ambush staged by the New Peoples Army (NPA) in July 2003 at Sitio Saddle in Talubin, Bontoc, Mountain Province.
A certain Rudy Kumawid implicated Cawiding, Banasan and their co-accused as those who masterminded the ambush. Kumawid is allegedly the cook and camp guard of Cawiding’s group.
At that time, Cawiding alleged he was attending a meeting of Bayan Muna at Teacher’s Camp.
Cawiding was arrested in 2007 after the Department of National Defense (DND) released a P500,000 reward for his arrest.
The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) meantime said the Cawiding and Banasan case is an example of the persecution against members and leaders of progressive and militant peoples’ organizations.
“This is part of the systematic scheme of the administration to silence critics,” the CHRA said in a statement. (RO)