Kidnapping case vs. Anakbayan won’t prosper, Kabataan party-list says

Marje Pelayo   •   August 8, 2019   •   1698

MANILA, Philippines – Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago expressed confidence that the kidnapping case filed by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) against Anakbayan will not prosper in court.

Elago slammed such move by the PNP as a case of harassment and a baseless accusation.

“Nakabatay po iyan sa fake news at fake allegations, (That’s based on fake news and fake allegations),” Elago said.

Elago didn’t show up at the Senate inquiry on Wednesday (August 7) invoking interparliamentary courtesy.

Presided by Senator Ronald dela Rosa, the inquiry was to investigate the alleged recruitment of minors by the leftist groups such as Anakbayan to join the New People’s Army (NPA). – with details from Lea Ylagan

Duterte to consider AFP stand against holiday ceasefire with Reds – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will consider the position of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against declaring a ceasefire with communist rebels this holiday season, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte normally “gives a lot of weight” on the recommendations of the military.

“Pakikinggan po ‘yan, but ultimately it’s only the President who will decide,” he said during a press briefing.

AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo earlier said the military will not recommend a holiday truce with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, due to the rebels’ “incapacity for sincerity.”

“This was the AFP’s painful experience where the communist terrorist group reneged from their own ceasefire declaration by attacking and killing soldiers on humanitarian and peace and development missions,” Arevalo said.

“During the incumbency of a truce, these terrorists continued their extortion activities and committed crimes of murder, arson, and the likes,” he added.

Arevalo, however, said that the AFP would support whatever the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte will be despite their position on the matter.

Last year, the government and the CPP-NPA both declared a truce during the holiday season, from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020. – RRD (with details from Correspondents Rosalie Coz and Lea Ylagan)

No violation in Amanda Echanis’ arrest – PNP

Marje Pelayo   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) stands by its position that nothing is illegal in the operation that led to the arrest of peasant women organizer Amanda Socorro Echanis.

Echanis is the daughter of slain consultant and chairman of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Randall ‘Randy’ Echanis. 

According to Police Regional Office 2 Director P/BGen. Crizaldo Nieves, the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) personnel were there to carry out an operation armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Shiel Gacutan Labuguen of the Baggao Cagayan Municipal Trial Court.

“Kapag nag-issue kasi ang court, meron siyang nakalagay doon na [When the court issues a search warrant, it usually says:] “The warrant may be served anytime of the day or night,” Nieves said in response to critics’ questioning the hours the police served the search warrant.

The young Echanis, also known as ‘Waya’ or ‘Julian’ was arrested at 8:30 AM in her home at Barangay Carupian, Baggao, Cagayan on Wednesday (December 2).

Nieves added that Echanis peacefully yielded to authorities. In fact, they didn’t handcuff her and she was boarded on an ambulance instead of a police mobile.

Normally kapag mga criminal, isasakay mo iyan sa patrol car (nang) nakaposas [Normally (in an arrest), the criminal is boarded on a patrol car, handcuffed],” Nieves said.

Siya, hindi naman yata siya pinosas at saka dala niya iyong bata, bakit siya ipoposas [I believed she wasn’t handcuffed and she was holding her child, so why handcuff her]?” he added.

He said a doctor immediately checked her upon arrival at the camp.

“Okay naman daw ang mga normal na signs ng BP. Tapos nagpapa-conduct nga ng post partum assessment pero ayaw naman niya magpadala sa ospital. Hihintayin pa raw ang lawyer niya [(Her blood pressure was normal. She was told to undergo postpartum assessment but she refused to be brought to the hospital. She said she would wait for her lawyer first],” Nieves said.

He dared the militant group to prove accusations that the police planted the armaments that were seized in Echanis’ house.

The search ended at 12:00PM and resulted in the confiscation of the following:

  • 1 unit M16 ARIS Colt 5.56mm assault rifle with SN 4951346;
  • 1 long plastic magazine for M16 rifle;
  • 1 long steel magazine for M16 Rifle;
  • 20 live ammunitions for M16 Rifle;
  • 1 hand grenade with marking 0689;
  • 1 hand grenade with markings frag MK2 with Lot No.p-4-105-78.

In a statement, PNP Chief PGen. Debold Sinas said Amanda Echanis used to work underground because her husband is a leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) subgroup operating in Cagayan Valley.

According to police reports, Echanis served as finance officer of the NPA West Front operating in the region. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

No holiday truce with communist rebels, AFP says

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said it will not recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte a ceasefire with the communist rebels this holiday season.

In a statement, AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said that many times in the past, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), have shown its “incapacity for sincerity” as they allegedly continue with their hostile acts despite the ceasefire declaration.

“This was the AFP’s painful experience where the communist terrorist group reneged from their own ceasefire declaration by attacking and killing soldiers on humanitarian and peace and development missions,” Arevalo said.

“During the incumbency of a truce, these terrorists continued their extortion activities and committed crimes of murder, arson, and the likes,” he added.

The military official said the communist rebels only venture on peace talks to “give themselves the chance to regroup, refurbish, recruit new members, and recoup their losses.”

Arevalo also claimed that Luis Jalandoni, a National Democratic Front negotiator, had supposedly declared that they push for peace negotiations not really to bring peace but to pursue armed struggle.

“And with these many hard lessons of the past, we will not allow them to trample upon our people’s bona fide desire for peace – not this holiday season – not until we have decisively defeated this menace to society,” he added.

Arevalo, however, said that the AFP would support the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte despite their position on the matter.

Last year, the government and the CPP-NPA both declared a truce during the holiday season, from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020.

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