Manila RTC judge inhibits herself from ‘Hilongos mass graves’ case | Inquirer News
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Manila RTC judge inhibits herself from ‘Hilongos mass graves’ case

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 01:13 AM January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina of Manila City Trial Court Branch 32 has inhibited herself from handling the “Hilongos mass graves” case in Inopacan, Leyte,  in which the murder charges against 15 communist leaders had been recently dismissed.

In a decision dated Jan. 14, Bunyi-Medina said she would no longer rule on the motion for reconsideration filed against the dismissal of the charges, saying she would “leave it to the sound judgment of the Court to which these cases shall be consequently re-raffled.”

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Her decision was prompted by a motion for inhibition filed by public prosecutors, citing a Supreme Court ruling that stated that a judge must inhibit from the case “at the very first sign of lack of faith and trust in his actions, whether well-grounded or not.”

“Applying the aforementioned doctrine and without necessarily admitting insinuation of partiality allegedly committed by the presiding judge of this Court as indicated in their Motion for Inhibition, this court is granting the said motion,” the decision read.

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Manila City Trial Court Branch 32 earlier junked murder charges against the supposed communists responsible for the mass graves in Inopacan, Leyte, where bodies were supposedly recovered in 2006.

It has granted the demurrers to evidence filed by former lawmaker Satur Ocampo; National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Rafael Baylosis and Adelberto Silva; farmers Norberto Murillo, Dario Tomada, and Oscar Belleza; Exuperio Lloren and another demurrer filed by Vicente Ladlad.

The court also dismissed the 15 counts of murder against the couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, Lino Salazar, Presillano Beringel, Luzviminda Orillo, Muco Lubong, and Felix Dumali.

READ: Case of traveling skeletons: Manila Court acquits peace consultants of murder

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TAGS: Hilongos mass graves cases, Manila Regional Trial Court, Thelma Bunyi Medina
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