AFP shows evidence linking rights groups to CPP-NPA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 18, 2019   •   4200

File photo: Members of the New People’s Army

After Karapatan said there is no evidence that supports the accusations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the AFP presented documents linking Karapatan and other rights group to the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP- NPA).

Boxes of evidence were presented by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations J7 Bgen. Antonio Parlade.

Several of these documents, which is about the 5th International Assembly in Hong Kong, were signed by CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison. It was also reported that the group Karapatan attended the said assembly.

“Ang ating gobyerno ay hindi nagpa-fabricate ng report, sila ang nagpa-fabricate. By the way hindi si AFP, hindi ako, hindi ang gobyerno ang nag-red tag sa kanila, tingnan niyo ang websites ng Philippine Revolution web central, ILPS, website ng NDF International, makikita niyo doon ang Karapatan, IBON. Andiyan ang ACT, Gabriela, Makabayan bloc andiyan lahat …pirmado ni Joma,(Our government does not fabricate reports, they [rights groups] fabricate reports. By the way, it is not the AFP, me or the government that red-tagged them. Check the websites of the Philippine Revolution web central, ILPS, website of NDF International, you can see that Karapatan, IBON are there. ACT, Gabriela, and Makabayan bloc are also there. It’s signed by Joma)” Parlade said.

Meanwhile, Karapatan is urging Parlade to stop linking their group with the NPA because there is no sufficient evidence to prove it.

IBON Foundation also released a statement denying the said claims and calling it baseless.

“The Duterte administration’s accusations are malicious, baseless, and absurd. It is so insistent on a self-serving fake narrative about the country that is attacking IBON just for speaking the truth” they said.

The AFP has also released several videos and photos of armed students from Salugpongan Schools which is run by non-government organizations.

Parlade also presented books printed by IBON Foundation for Salugpongan Community Learning Centers. He said that one of the members of the editorial board is the wife of the secretary of NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

The books, according to Parlade contained radical information that teaches the youth to oppose the government.

“Pambansang bayani ay si Father Paps. Si Father Te Torio iyong Italyano yung napatay. Bakit nga ba napatay iyon? Kasi kasama niya NPA, mga komunistang bayolente. So ito ang national hero nila, ito itinuturo sa grade 1, ang nakalagay dito ang puppet na Republika ng Pilipinas, [Their national hero is father Paps. Father Te Torio, the Italian who was killed. Why was he killed? Because he was with the NPA, the violent communists. So this is their national hero and it is taught in grade 1. It also says the puppet Republic of the Philippines]” according to Parlade.

He also challenged Karapatan to a debate on national TV to show who is telling the truth. —Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

DOJ issues hold departure order vs nine cops in Jolo shooting

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a hold departure order against the nine policemen involved in the shooting of four army personnel in Jolo, Sulu.

In a statement, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered prosecutors to file a motion in the court for a hold departure order against the policemen accused of killing the four army personnel in Jolo, Sulu last June 2020.

The order was issued after the Philippine National Police (PNP) released the said cops after being dismissed from service.

“The DOJ prosecutors filed the criminal information against the 9 police officers last January 4. The court was supposed to issue the warrants of arrest thereafter, but apparently failed to do so because of the current lockdown in Sulu,” he said.

Guevarra, meanwhile, hopes the accused would voluntarily turn themselves in once the warrants are issued.

“We hope that the 9 accused will voluntarily turn themselves in when such warrants are eventually released by the court. Otherwise, law enforcement agents will look for them and take them into custody,” Guevarra said. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

AFP dismayed over the release of nine cops involved in Jolo shooting

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines has expressed dismay after the Philippine National Police released the nine cops involved in the shooting of four army men in Jolo, Sulu.

In a statement, AFP Spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said that AFP Chief General Gilbert Gapay lamented the decision to release the involved cops and the lack of arrest warrants despite the charges filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“It is only unfortunate that despite the DOJ’s filing online of a multiple murder case before the Regional Trial Court in Jolo last 04 January 2021, no Warrants of Arrest have been issued by the court,” he said.

The nine cops are facing multiple murder charges in the Regional Trial Court in Jolo after the DOJ found probable cause for an indictment.

On Monday (January 11), PNP Chief Police General Debold Sinas announced that they have turned over the nine cops to the lawyers and their relatives since the national police no longer have the authority to detain them. Sinas also announced that the nine cops had been dismissed from police service.

Na-release na kasi walang warrant of arrest na binigay samin. We have coordinated with the DOJ at saka sa lahat hanggang ngayon wala po. So, ayaw po namin na ma charge kami ng arbitrary detention at tsaka pinirmahan ko pong dismissal ay implementable na po iyon. We turn them over to their relatives and lawyers (They have been released because there is no warrant of arrest. We have coordinated with the DOJ and until now, now warrant was issued. So we don’t want to be charged with arbitrary detention and I already signed the dismissal, it is already implementable. We turn them over to their relatives and lawyers), Sinas said. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

AFP halts probe on PSG’s unauthorized COVID-19 vaccination

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday (January 5) withdrew the investigation on the Presidential Security Group’s (PSG) use of unregistered COVID-19 vaccines.

The said fact-finding investigation was scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

AFP Spokesperson Major General Edgardo Arevalo said they will no longer push through with the fact-finding investigation after President Rodrigo Duterte defended his closed-in security during his public address on Monday evening (January 4).

Duterte called on Congress not to ‘tinker’ with the PSG and not to force his soldiers to testify against their will.

“AFP Chief General Gilbert Gapay has called-off the scheduled fact-finding investigation today on the vaccination of some PSG personnel. This comes in the light of the recent pronouncement of the Commander-in-Chief and President Rodrigo Duterte,” the AFP said in a statement.

Several of the PSG personnel were vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine last September 2020. Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana previously confirmed the said vaccines used were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). AAC

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