THE son of a former communist leader has asked the Supreme Court to order the release of his father, whom the government had detained for murder.
In a 21-page petition, Jody S. Salas accused the state of violating the rights to due process of his father Rodolfo, whom he said had been barred from participating in the case’s preliminary probe.
“The state swept all of these safeguards away when it hastily, maliciously, and oppressively filed the information for 15 counts of murder without affording Rodolfo the opportunity to participate and be heard in the preliminary investigation,” according to a copy of his habeas corpus suit.
“At no point in the proceeding did Rodolfo receive any subpoena from the public prosecutor requiring him to answer,” he said. The accused only found out from the news that he had been indicted in Leyte.
Mr. Salas was arrested on Feb. 18 over murder charges filed in 2007. He was accused of being part of a communist effort to cleanse the ranks of local and regional committees of the Communist Party of the Philippines of its suspected enemies.
He was being detained at the Manila City Jail and had been denied bail based on an arrest warrant issued by a Manila trial court.
The son also said a 1991 plea bargain protects Mr. Salas from being prosecuted for common crimes to promote the communist rebellion. The deal became the basis of his conviction that year.
His arrest now also violated his right against double jeopardy, which bars a person from being charged twice for the same offense, he said.
The plaintiff asked the tribunal to stop his father’s arraignment and pre-trial scheduled for Feb. 28.
Habeas corpus is a legal remedy through which a person can report an unlawful detention to a tribunal, which will then order the prison official to bring the prisoner to court to determine the validity of his detention. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas