Press Release
July 3, 2006

Statement of Senate President and Liberal Party head Franklin Drilon
on the threat of Secretary Gonzalez to file treason charges against
Senator Jamby Madrigal:

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez is over-reacting when he invoked the crime of treason against Senator Jamby Madrigal for meeting with NDF leader Jose Maria Sison.

Legally speaking, Senator Madrigal cannot commit the crime of treason because the Philippines is presently not at war with another country, which is an essential element for treason under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code.

If talking to Sison is now a crime, then I am afraid a number of other government officials should also be prosecuted by Secretary Gonzalez.

We recall that no less than Speaker Jose de Venecia and several House members met, at one time or another, with Sison and other NDF officials in The Netherlands.

We assume that the efforts of Sen. Madrigal and the other peace-advocates in government, like Speaker De Venecia, are anchored on the same noble desire to find a solution to the decades-old insurgency problem and put an end to the senseless killings of Filipinos due to ideological differences.

Any attempt at peace can never be a basis for treason under the Revised Penal Code, nor of unethical conduct under Republic Act 6713.

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