Fri. May 14th, 2021

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) will hold oral arguments in the case challenging the validity of the arrest of Rodolfo Salas aka “Kumander Bilog”, a key leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) who was nabbed in a subdivision in Angeles City, Pampanga in February.

In a resolution dated March 2 released Thursday, the high court granted the petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by Salas’ son Jody and directed Jail Chief Insp. Lloyd Gonzaga, Manila City Jail Annex warden, to produce Salas during the oral arguments at the court’s Third Division on March 12, at 9:30 a.m.

During the oral arguments, the parties will be given 20 minutes to present their case, according to Division Clerk of Court Misael Domingo C. Battung III.

Salas was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest dated August 28, 2018 issued by Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina, for 15 counts of murder before the Regional Trial Court of Manila.

He headed the NPA in 1976 after the capture of Bernabe Buscayno alias “Kumander Dante” and chaired the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Central Committee after the capture of its founding chair Jose Maria Sison in 1977.

Salas was part of the central committee which ordered the implementation of “Operation Venereal Disease” that sanctioned the executions of persons who were viewed as enemies of the CPP.

He was originally arrested in 1986 and was previously convicted of rebellion in May 1991 but was granted amnesty in 1992 by former president Fidel V. Ramos. (ia/PNA)

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