Tiamzons ask SC to transfer trial venue back to QC court
MANILA, Philippines—Citing their right to fair and public proceedings, suspected communist leaders on trial for kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges have asked the Supreme Court to rethink its order allowing the transfer of their trial from the Quezon City court to the national police headquarters in Camp Crame.
Through the National Union of People’s Lawyers, Benito and Wilma Tiamzon sought the high court’s reconsideration of its Nov. 25, 2014, order granting the request of Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Fernando Sagun Jr. to change the venue of the hearings against them.
The couple asked the court to transfer their trial back to Quezon City RTC Branch 81, the original venue of the proceedings.
“Clearly, as part of their right to due process, the accused are entitled to a speedy, impartial and public trial,” read the 11-page petition filed on Feb. 20.
“Without meaning to be disrespectful to this honorable court, and to the trial court as well, the holding of the trial of these cases inside Camp Crame, the national office of the PNP (Philippine National Police), will not be consistent with the fair trial requirements of the Constitution,” the pleading said.
Sagun had requested the transfer of the trial venue before the high court citing an incident during a supposed hearing last Oct. 21, when protesters supporting the Tiamzons held a rally at the Quezon City Hall to demand their release.
The protest forced City Hall, also home to the Hall of Justice, to suspend work. It also prompted the Tiamzons’ security escorts to turn back to Camp Crame, where they have been detained since March last year.
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