Though the primary accused was not present, the court has granted the motion for re-investigations of rebellion case filed against Elizabeth Principe and others.
Judge Gavino Balbin of Regional Trial Court Branch 23 has granted the re-investigation after it was presented through legal counsel of Principe.
During interview, Atty. Reynaldo Cortez, legal counsel of Principe, said that the proceedings was gone smooth after the state prosecutor, State Prosecutor Redentor Cardenas, admitted that the accused has the right for preliminary investigations.
“He said he has no objections!”
The defense was given 15 days to file the counter-affidavit.
After the filing of counter-affidavit, a hearing will be conducted at the office of the prosecutor, if found there’s probable cause, it will be moved in the court. But if found there is no enough evidence, a case dismissal will be called.
The decision was welcome by Ilocos Human Rights Advocates or IHRA who stage a 10-minute program in Candon Plaza after the hearing.
IHRA Spokesperson Roda Tajon, said this show that there is no probable cause in the case filed against Elizabeth and her husband Leo Velasco.
“We are happy because they have given the chance to re-investigate the case… they have the chance to present their evidence.”
“We believe that the case of Principe will be dismissed.”
In the motion filed in court under criminal case number 1260-C, it was indicated that Principe was never given any notice of the proceedings during the preliminary investigation stage… neither was she allowed an opportunity to present evidence to rebut the allegations of the private complainants.
Principe was a consultant in the peace negotiations between Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). She was also a Community Health Workers in Isabela Province before she was abducted last 2007.
She was also implicated in a 1991 strafing incident in Santa Cruz, Ilocos Sur, and on November 28, 2007, she was arrested. She is now detained at Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Principe’s husband Leo Velasco was believed to be abducted on February 19, 2007 in Cagayan de Oro City. He remains missing to this day. Velasco is also named as an accused in the rebellion case.