THE Quezon City Regional Trial Court yesterday found communist leaders Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon guilty of the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and sentenced them to reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years in prison.
In a decision, Judge Alfonso Ruiz II also ordered them to pay complainant Lt. Abraham Claro Casis damages amounting to P225,000.
“Accused Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 6 of the same code. They are sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua… “
“They are also ordered to pay the complainant Lt. Abraham Claro Casis P75,000 as moral damages, P75,000 as civil indemnity, and P75,000 as exemplary damages. The monetary awards for civil indemnity and damages shall earn interest at the legal rate of 6 percent per annum from date of finality of judgment until fully paid, “ the decision’s dispositive portion read.
Benito and Wilma, chairman and secretary general of the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), respectively, were arrested in March 2014 in Cebu days before the NPA marked its 45th anniversary.
On June 1, 1988, the Tiamzons allegedly abducted Casis, Lieutenants Clariton Santos, Oscar Singson, and Rommel Salamanca of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Sergeant John Jacob of the Philippine Narcotics Command in Candelaria and Tiaong, in Quezon province.
The CPP-NPA allegedly detained the victims for 75 days.
Aside from kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges, the Tiamzon couple are also facing cases of rebellion and crimes against humanity, including murder dating back to 1988.#