Court junks Gloria Arroyo motionBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A Quezon City court has denied the motions of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and two retired generals to have a P15-million damage suit filed against them by members of the “Morong 43” dismissed. The six Morong 43 members claimed they were tortured by the military in 2010.
In an 11-page resolution, Judge Ma. Luisa Q. Padilla of Regional Trial Court Branch 226 denied the separate motions to dismiss filed by Arroyo and retired generals Victor Ibrado and Delfin Bangit for lack of merit.
The court instead ordered the complainants—health workers detained by the military on suspicion of being communist rebels—and the respondents to undergo mediation proceedings before going back to court.
Both parties are set to attend a mediation hearing on July 6 after the court suspended proceedings for a month, which could be extended depending on the mediation process.
In April last year, six members of the Morong 43—Dr. Merry Mia Clamor, Dr. Alexis Montes, nurse Gary Liberal, Ma. Teresa Quinawayan, Reynaldo Macabenta and Mercy Castro—sued Arroyo, the two generals and several others over their arrest and alleged torture in military hands at Camp Capinpin in Tarlac.
Aside from Arroyo, Ibrado and Bangit, also charged were former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Gen. Jorge Segovia, Col. Victorino Zaragoza, Maj. Manuel Tabion, Col. Aurelio Baladad, Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag, Supt. Marion Balolong and Supt. Allan Nubleza.
In the same order, Padilla denied the Morong 43 members’ appeal to freeze P15 million of the defendants’ assets for lack of merit.