The trial of detained National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Rey Claro Casambre has been transferred to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QC-RTC), his family announced.
Casambre’s trial in Lupon, Davao Oriental had been ordered transferred to Quezon City by the Supreme Court in response to his counsels and family’s petition, Casambre’s daughter Xandra Liza Biseno said in a statement.
“[This is] due to the cost, burden and stresses on Rey and his kin, counsels, and friends of seeing the very remote Davao case through. [But the] partial transfer requires Rey to waive his right to physically appear and defend himself should any case proceeding transpire in Davao,” Xandra Liza said.
She added that the QC judge has informed Casambre’s lawyers that whatever transpires in Quezon City will be reported back to Davao.
Casambre’s trial has resumed last Wednesday, December 2, almost two years after his and wife Patricia Cora’s arrest in Bacoor, Cavite near midnight of December 6, 2018.
Casambre and Cora were flagged down by Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group operatives in a deserted stretch of road and were charged with illegal possession of a firearm grenade and a bomb detonator allegedly found at their sub-compact car’s dashboard compartment.
The state prosecutor who conducted the preliminary investigation said the charge was “preposterous” and ordered the couple freed.
The police however refused to release Rey, alleging he participated in a New People’s Army ambush in Lupon on September 13 of that year.
Casambre said he had never been to the remote town, adding he was in fact at the House of Representatives on September 12, 2018, the very day a government soldier claims he saw the elderly peace consultant at a guerilla camp, planning the ambush. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)