Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Sunday urged Benito Tiamzon and his wife, Wilma, to surrender after a Quezon City court sentenced them to up to 40 years imprisonment for kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
“Based on our information, they are not in other countries. We can monitor so it is better for them to surrender,” Año said in Filipino.
He also directed the Philippine National Police to intensify its manhunt against the Tiamzon couple following the Quezon City RTC’s verdict. They are also facing multiple murder charges before a Manila court over the alleged 1985 purge in Leyte of communist rebels suspected of being military informants, known as the Inopacan massacre.
“I exerted a lot of effort in capturing them. I was the chief of ISAFP (Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) when they were arrested in March 2014. I spent (almost) half of my career looking for this couple,” Año said partly in Filipino.
On Aug. 15, 2016, the couple was granted bail to join the peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
The couple remains at large since the same Quezon City court ordered their rearrest in 2018 after President Rodrigo Duterte terminated the peace talks with the NDF. SOVEREIGNPH