Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts

Vol. VII, No. 7      March 18 - 24, 2007      Quezon City, Philippines

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Kapila Ilubong Ang Patay?
(How Often will You Bury the Dead?)

The seven bodies found in an alleged mass grave in Inopacan, Southern Leyte which were being presented in the multiple murder case against Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo, Jose Ma.Sison, Luis Jalandoni, Vicente Ladlad, Rafael Baylosis, Randal Echanis and several others have already been buried and used in a case somewhere else.

BY KAREN PAPELLERO
Bulatlat

CEBU CITY - Sometimes, there is no rest for the dead beyond the grave. Some can be buried more than once.

The seven bodies found in an alleged mass grave in Inopacan, Southern Leyte which were being presented in the multiple murder case against Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo, Jose Ma.Sison, Luis Jalandoni, Vicente Ladlad, Rafael Baylosis, Randal Echanis and several others have already been buried and used in a case somewhere else.

This disturbing information was discovered by Karapatan-Central Visayas after they reviewed the case filed against Rep. Ocampo and others.

The military already announced the discovery of the skeletal remains of Domingo Eras, Leonardo Eras, Concepcion Aragon, Carlos Tronueva, Juanita Aviola, Gregorio Eras and Paquito �Tito� Tronueva in Brgy. Monterico, Baybay, Leyte last June 27, 2000.

These were used as evidences in a multiple murder case filed against suspected New People�s Army (NPA) members and leaders in Baybay town in an alleged �purge� in 1985.

Recycling: the name of the game

The presence of the alleged mass grave in Baybay town was further substantiated by the statements of Zacarias Piedad Sr., a confessed former member of the NPA, who was then the sole witness presented by the prosecution in July 2000. He claimed to have known a certain Jaime Soledad and Antonieta Pegoria and identifed them as the NPA leaders who allegedly ordered the mass killings in Brgy. Monterico. He also claimed to have heard them issue out the orders.

During cross-examination, he was able to accurately identify the bodies, 15 years after the alleged killings in 1985.

However, Piedad recanted his statements and issued an Affidavit of Desistance in March 2003 while he was in the provincial jail. He executed his affidavit in front of representatives of Karapatan- Central Visayas and a lawyer.

In the said affidavit, he stated that he did not know Pegoria before and only met her while they were in jail. He further declared that he has not seen any killings anytime in his life, much less in Brgy. Monterico and that his former statements in 2000 were made while he was in the custody of the military in Sogod, Southern Leyte.

Piedad, however, surfaced once again as a witness. This time in the new case filed against the Bayan Muna representative and other personalities. He again issued an affidavit last September 14, 2006, implicating them in the killings in Inopacan, Southern Leyte.

A malicious pattern?

Dennis Abarientos, Secretary General of KARAPATAN-Central Visayas, further revealed that the Asst. Provincial Prosecutor, Rosulo U. Vivero, the one who handled the 2000 case in Baybay is the same fiscal who filed the multiple murder case against Satur Ocampo and others last February 28, 2007, in Hilongos, So.Leyte.

�Vivero purposely and even, personally, filed the case in Hilongos. What�s he doing filing a case there when that is not his assignment. Why didn�t he file it in Baybay which is so much closer to Inopacan? Is he afraid Baybay Judge Fulache would again dismiss his case?� he asked.

�They are recycling everything and everyone. Vivero allowed his misplaced personal crusade to interfere in the dispensation of justice,� Abarientos stated.

Noemi Truya, the counsel who handled the 2000 case, also doubts the motive behind Vivero�s recent actions.

�Prosecutor Vivero did a sloppy job in this grand conspiracy to implicate Satur and company. How could he forget that he already filed a case for multiple murder for the skeletons found in Brgy. Monterico, Baybay and now he is filing another case for the same skeletons allegedly dug in Inopacan?� she exclaimed.

�Definitely, it is not an innocent mistake. It is malicious prosecution. He should be held accountable for the needless anxiety and incarcerationn of those he persecuted,� Truya declared.

�Para niya ug sa mga militar, kapila gyud di-ay ilubong ang patay?� she asked. (According to him and the military, how many times will you have to bury the dead?) Bulatlat 

 

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