No violation in Amanda Echanis’ arrest – PNP

Marje Pelayo   •   December 3, 2020   •   337

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)

PNP seizes alleged NPA arms cache in Palawan

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Joint operations conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yielded the recovery of an alleged New People’s Army (NPA) weapons cache in northern Palawan.

In a statement on Tuesday, PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas said troops from the PNP-Special Action Force’s (SAF) 101st Special Action Company, Police Regional Office 4B (PRO4B) and the military recovered high-powered firearms and war materials in the area of Sitio Lanka, Barangay Bintuan in Coron, Palawan around 4 a.m. on Saturday, January 9.

Among those seized were two M-16 assault rifles, four rifle grenades, magazine assemblies, a bandolier and 184 rounds of M-16 ammunition.

Sinas said the operation stemmed from actionable intelligence gathered by government troops regarding the whereabouts of the NPA’s cache of firearms and war materials in the said area.

“The continuous operations of our troops have resulted to the NPA’s weakened state. The latest confiscation of this cache of high-powered firearms further incapacitates their key operatives,” Sinas said.

The PNP chief  also commended the SAF in its successive efforts implementing the President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, which aims to end local communist armed conflict.

The rifles will be subjected to procedural ballistics examination to determine if these had been used in previous crime incidents, the PNP said.

Alleged NPA rebels killed in Rizal part of Joma Sison’s ‘death squad’, DILG says

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2021

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison

MANILA, Philippines – The five suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed in a shootout in Baras, Rizal in December 2020 were part of the death squads allegedly deployed by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday.

Año said the slain group of rebels were deployed in Southern Luzon to assassinate top national and local government leaders, and police and military officers over “blood debts.”

“We can now confirm that the five NPA members killed in Barangay San Juan, Baras, Rizal were part of a death squad that was supposed to carry out the directive of Joma Sison to assassinate government and civilian leaders,” the DILG chief said in a statement.

“Isang tagumpay para sa atin na napigilan ang mga ganitong mga operasyon ng NPA lalo pa’t ito’y isang tuwirang pagbabanta sa buhay ng mga pinuno ng bansa at maging ng mga sibilyan,” he added.

The shootout allegedly occurred as government troops were about to serve a warrant of arrest against Antonio “Dads” Cule for frustrated murder charges issued by the Regional Trial Court branch 65 in Infanta, Quezon Province.

Cule was tagged as the finance officer of an NPA unit that collected revolutionary taxes in Southern Tagalog.

CPP Central Committee Information Officer Marcos Valduena earlier said that “there is a standing order for the NPA to form partisan teams to meet out punishment against enemy units and officers who have committed bloody crimes against the people.”

Año said Sison’s move to deploy communist death squads to urban areas “intends to bring the NPA’s reign of terror in the countryside to the cities. “The PNP and AFP will do its utmost to protect the people from these terrorists in sheep’s clothing. We will crush these urban terrorist cells before they can begin their reign of terror,” he said.

The DILG chief urged the Commission on Human Rights and even the so-called Makabayan Bloc to condemn the deployment of NPA death squads in urban areas to prove that they are truly not members or fronts of the Communist Party.

He said that assassinations perpetrated by the NPA Death Squads are clearly extra-judicial killing “which the CPP is now bringing to the urban areas after decades of perfecting armed terrorism in the mountains.”
Año said the supposed deployment of NPA partisan units is a “clear and convincing proof that the Anti-Terrorism Council did the right thing in designating CPP and NPA as ‘terrorist organizations.’”

“Ngayon ay hindi na nila maikakaila ang kanilang tunay na kulay at motibo. Sila ay mga terorista na kailanman ay hindi naghangad ng kapayapaan kundi ang maghasik ng kaguluhan, pumatay ng mga puwersa ng gobyerno, para pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” he said.

In the 1980s, the CPP-NPA first deployed its “sparrow units” in urban centers and murdered hundreds of policemen, military officers, and civilians in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and other areas to speed up its protracted people’s war, sow chaos, and bring down the government, the DILG said.

AMLC approves freeze order on CPP-NPA related accounts—DOJ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has approved the freezing of bank deposits and other assets of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA), according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In a text message to reporters on Sunday (December 27), DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the AMLC approved the freeze after the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) formally designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.

AMLC Executive Director Mel Racela, meanwhile, clarified that there are no bank accounts directly named under the CPP-NPA.

“There are no accounts under the name of CPP/NPA, but the FO (freeze order) covers the related accounts (RA) of said organization. RA means all accounts opened and maintained for the benefit of said organization, the identification of which the banks and other covered persons will play a very important role,” Racela said.

He also added that the freeze order aims to “deprive designated terror organizations of resources to prevent possible terror attacks.” AAC

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