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Scope and Implications
of the Supreme Court Decision
In the "Batasan Six" and Mass Leaders'
Certiorari Petitions
(G.R. Nos. 172070-72; G.R. Nos. 172074-76 and
G.R. No. 175013)

Romeo T. Capulong
Lead Counsel for "Batasan Six"


In two criminal indictments (informations) separately filed in the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, the Department of Justice of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) charged with rebellion the following Filipino leaders who compose the whole spectrum of ideological and political forces opposed to the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo:

1. all the alleged top leaders and alleged members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), including Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Ms. Juliet Sison, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Peace Negotiating Panel Chairman Luis Jalandoni, NDFP Peace Negotiating Panel Member Fidel V. Agcaoili, CPP spokesperson Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal, Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Tiamzon;

2. progressive partylists and more popularly known as "Batasan Six" congresspersons Liza Maza of Gabriela Women's Party, Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis, Saturnino Ocampo, Teodoro Casiņo and Joel Virador of Bayan Muna;

3. leaders of progressive mass organizations and consultants in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations Vicente Ladlad, Nathaniel Santiago, Rey Claro Casambre, Rafael Baylosis, Sotero Llamas (now deceased and one of the victims of extra-judicial executions) Randal Echaniz and Tita Lubi; and

4. alleged top military rebels Gregorio Honasan (now a senator of the Republic), Lawrence San Juan, Jake Malajacan, Felix Turingan, Angelbert Gay, Patricio Bumindang, Aldrin Baldonado and Atty. Christopher Belmonte (one of their lawyers).

After the filing of the informations in the Regional Trial Court, "Batasan Six" and three mass leaders sought relief in the Supreme Court by way of petitions for certiorari, invoking as grounds grave abuse of discretion committed by the Department of Justice and the lower court. For obvious reasons, the alleged leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines who were abroad or who opted out of the GRP legal system did not participate in the proceedings.

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