A Philippine court has ordered the release of 43 health workers suspected of being communist rebels a week after President Benigno Aquino III directed prosecutors to withdraw charges on grounds they were denied due process.

Two doctors and a nurse were among the volunteer health workers who were arrested in February. The health workers have denied accusations they were guerrillas and accused the military of planting weapons and bomb-making materials as evidence against them.

On Friday, a court near Manila ordered their release after state prosecutors withdrew charges.

The underground Communist Party of the Philippines has said Aquino’s decision will bolster peace talks with the government, which are scheduled to resume in February.

Associated Press