August 2, 2017/
A human rights lawyer described the resurrection of the accusation calling Prof. Jose Maria Sison the brains of the August 21, 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing a canard or an unfounded story.
In a legal opinion, Atty. Edre Olalia said there is no evidence to sustain the accusation that is repeatedly resurrected against Sison.
“(It) is…unmitigated recycled hogwash and simply cannot hold water in any court of law worth its name. It is not only factually baseless but is plainly legally foolish,” Olalia said.
Olalia reacted to a press statement by Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Año Wednesday accusing Sison of masterminding the bombing that killed and wounded several Liberal Party members and supporters in 1971.
“Only someone with a vicious mind could hatch and execute a plan like the bombing of Plaza Miranda that caused the death and wounding of several innocent people,” Año said.
Olalia, however, said several investigations on the bombing have either refused to press charges against Sison or have dismissed them for lack of “clear, convincing and categorical legal bases.”
The lawyer cited the March 2, 1994 Manila prosecutors’ resolution dismissing the charge as merely based on “sheer speculations” and for its “lack of sufficient basis.”
The Department of Justice also certified in April 1998 that there are no pending cases against Sison, Olalia reported.
“On its own account and standing alone, the…Resolution handed out more than two decades ago would have written finis to any doubt or accusation on the non-complicity of Mr. Sison in the Plaza Miranda bombing,” he said.
Olalia added that Sison, through the late Justice Romeo Capulong as his lawyer and representative, have submitted the findings of the two investigations to past hearings conducted by the Senate Joint Blue Ribbon and Justice Committees then chaired by Sen. Wigberto Tañada.
“The significance of these above-mentioned two cases against Prof. Sison lies in the fact that they are the only cases which the Philippine government filed against Sison, conclusively proving that since 1971 when the Plaza Miranda bombing took place, until the present date, the Philippine Government has no case against him that would stand in its own courts in terms of evidence,” Capulong’s affidavit to the Senate read.
Olalia added that the Marcos dictatorship could have easily filed charges against Sison for the Plaza Miranda bombing while he was in solitary confinement from 1977 to 1986 but did not do so.
The governments after Marcos also failed to convict Sison for lack of basis even after his passport was cancelled by the Corazon Aquino administration and is forced to stay abroad to this day.
“And if ever one (charge) will be filed anew, it is not only legally prescribed by the statute of limitations but will certainly not prosper as it has no leg to stand on,” Olalia concluded. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)