SC to hear habeas corpus plea for ex-NPA leader

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    THE Supreme Court is set to hold oral arguments on the petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus filed by the son of former New People’s Army commander Rodolfo Salas, alias “Kumander Bilog,” who was arrested last month in Angeles City, Pampanga for murder and rebellion.

    Salas is detained at the Manila City Jail.

    SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said the court’s Third Division has decided to hear the case involving a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus filed by Salas’ son, Jody.

    He said the oral arguments will be held on March 12.

    The High Court, in the decision promulgated March 2 but released only yesterday, directed Manila city jail warden Lloyd Gonzaga to present Salas in the March 12 hearing.

    A petition for habeas corpus is a legal recourse that can be used to secure the release of a person who is being unlawfully detained.

    Salas’ son filed the petition on February 25, wherein he also asked the court to stop Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina of the Manila RTC Branch 32 from proceeding with the arraignment of his father on multiple murder in connection with the killings of NPA members decades ago in Inopacan, Leyte, on suspicion they are deep penetration agents of military intelligence.

    The younger Salas questioned the operation carried out by the police during the arrest on February 18, saying they did not present any warrant of arrest when they barged inside their residence.

    He also said his father is shielded from further prosecution for all acts committed in furtherance of rebellion by a plea-bargain that became the basis for his conviction on rebellion charges in 1991.