The Department of Justice will soon start its preliminary investigation of the three criminal complaints filed by alleged rebel returnees against Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison and several others CPP members.
Assistant State Prosecutor Honey Rose Delgado, spokesperson for the DOJ’s Office of the Prosecutor General, said on Monday that a panel of prosecutors has been created to conduct the preliminary probe.
This came after two former cadres of the CPP-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front, Kurt Russel Olaes Sosa and Joy James Saguino, filed criminal charges against Sison and three other respondents: Lean Porquia, Karen Edaniel and Vince Hugo Villena.
Sosa and Saguino accused Sison and the three others of violations of Section 4(i) of Republic Act No. 9208, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, as amended, for recruiting a child to engage in armed activities; and Section 10(a) of RA 7610, the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
The communist rebel-returnees were assisted by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in filing the complaints.
In his complaint filed last Sept. 1, Saguino named as respondents Sison, Porquia and Edaniel, while Sosa’s complaint filed last Sept. 3 named Sison and Villena as respondents.
“Both complaints were already docketed (NPS Docket Nos. XVI-INV-21I-002803 and XVI-INV-21I-002834) and forwarded to the chairperson of the appropriate task force for assignment to a panel of prosecutors for the conduct of the preliminary investigation,” the OPG said in a statement issued last September 7.
“Saguino claimed that he was allegedly recruited in June 2007 at the University of the Philippines — Visayas, Iloilo Campus when he was still a 16-year-old student,” it added.
In the case of Sosa, OPG said the complainant claimed that he was a 17-year-old journalism student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines — Sta. Mesa when he was recruited to join the CPP-NPA-NDF on 01 May 2015.
The OPG noted that the two complaints are related to the complaint of another rebel returnee, Lady Desiree Collado Miranda, who filed it before the DOJ last August 23 with the assistance of the PNP-CIDG.
It said that in her complaint, Miranda named as respondents Sison, and suspected NPA members Redsa Balatan, Rey Dela Pena and Joel Caliwliw.
She accused Sison and Balatan of having violated Section 4(i) of RA 9208 and Section 10(a) of RA 7610.
Miranda accused Dela Pena and Caliwliw of two counts and four counts, respectively, of rape in violation of Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
The PNP-CIDG had said that Miranda was “recruited at the age of 14 as a member of Anakbayan, a CTG (Communist Terrorist Group) front organization.”