Philippine court junks rebellion charges against leftist lawmakers
Jun 1, 2007, 10:19 GMT
Manila - The Philippine Supreme Court on Friday dismissed rebellion charges against six leftist lawmakers for lack of evidence on allegations they plotted to oust President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last year.
In its ruling, the high tribunal said it found 'no probable cause' to pursue the charges against the six congressional representatives and reminded state prosecutors to avoid 'political considerations' in filing criminal suits.
The lawmakers, one of whom has been detained in a government-run hospital since February 2006, were accused of conspiring with rogue soldiers and opposition politicians to overthrow Arroyo.
The congressional representatives, who all belonged to leftist political parties, have denied the allegations and accused the government of harassment in the filing of the charges against them.
'We are vindicated,' Congressman Satur Ocampo, one of those charged, said in a statement. 'This is a triumph of truth and justice over the Arroyo government's invented and unfair charge against duly elected people's representatives.'
'This is a slap on the faces of President Arroyo and her repressive agencies,' he added.
Leftist groups have also accused the government and the military of being behind a string of killings, forced disappearances and other forms of harassment against members and leaders throughout the country.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur