One of the two kidnapping charges against National Democratic Front consultants Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria Tiamzon was dismissed by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81 on Wednesday.
Human rights group Karapatan in a statement said Sgt. John Jacob, complainant-witness in one of the cases, failed to appear in court at yesterday’s pre-trial hearing, which resulted to the dismissal of one of the charges.
The said hearing was held at the Training Service of the Camp Crame PNP General Headquarters, instead of the usual Quezon City Hall of Justice. The court transferred the venue of the trial purportedly due to security reasons.
The venue is within Camp Crame, several meters away from the PNP Custodial Center where the two are detained.
The other kidnapping case which has four other complainants will proceed to trial because Lt. Abraham Casis, one of the complainants “suddenly appeared in court”.
“We are wondering why this Lt. Casis, after 28 years of not attending any of the court proceedings on this case which led to the dismissal of the case of other co-accused, attended this hearing for the Tiamzons,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.
The kidnapping case pertains to the arrest of five army soldiers who were held prisoners of war by the New People’s Army in Tiaong, Quezon in 1989. These army soldiers were later released. Lt. Casis was allegedly one of those were held as prisoner of war.
The Tiamzon couple were arrested in March last year.