Palace respects warrant of arrest vs. former party-list lawmakers

By Jelly Musico

July 27, 2018, 6:56 pm

MANILA -- Malacañang on Friday said it will continue to respect the independence of the courts in the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this reaction following the warrant of arrest issued against former Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna, Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis and Liza Maza of Gabriela.

“The Palace will continue to respect the independence of our courts. We should, therefore, let the legal process run its course,” Roque said in a press statement.

Maza is the incumbent chairperson of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) while Mariano was a former secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Mariano, also known as "Ka Paeng", as his first DAR secretary after his election in 2016 but the Commission on Appointment (CA) rejected his appointment on Sept. 6, 2017.

“The matter is still with the Regional Trial Court,” said Roque, also a former Kabalikat ng Mamamayan party-list representative.

Judge Evelyn Turla of Palayan, Nueva Ecija’s RTC Branch 40 reportedly issued the warrant of arrest based on the case filed in 2004 during the time of former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (PNA)