Karapatan ex-leader belies link to CPP-NPA
DAVAO CITY — The former head of the human rights group Karapatan in Southern Mindanao criticized the Armed Forces of the Philippines for linking the group to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
Honey Mae Suazo, the former secretary-general of Karapatan Southern Mindanao, said in an emailed statement that AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. was “spinning their dirty old tactics to discredit the human rights advocacy and legal services of Karapatan to the marginalized.”
“They have gone so low, even adding personal attacks against me by dragging my husband, whom I am separated from, into their allegations,” she said.
On Friday, the AFP linked Karapatan’s Suazo to the communist group when they presented a receipt for the bail of alleged NPA commander named Zaldy Cañete, alias Jinggoy, in 2015, which was paid by Suazo.
The Tagum City Regional Trial Court issued the receipt with serial number 8369533B back in July 7, 2015, after posting the P200,000 bail for Cañete who was captured in 2010.
But Suazo said it was part of her work to provide legal services as paralegal worker to represent Cañete’s family.
“I had to act as representative for the family, given the situation at that time. Cañete’s father was murdered, while his mother and sibling were gravely under threat. We had worked through this legal process and most of the cases were dismissed due to lack of merit and others were bailable. The family raised the funds for the recommended bail,” Suazo said.
The receipt issued by Tagum RTC Branch 1 Presiding Judge Virginia Tehano-Ang is a public document open to the public, Suazo pointed out.
Thus, she said, “the accusation of Parlade shows his ignorance of the legal process. Being the bondsman on behalf of the family is part of fulfilling my duty before as a paralegal worker handling Cañete’s case.”
She added: “Through the years, I have been harassed, and even charged with fabricated cases. I know this is part of the dirty tactics that the AFP throws against Karapatan and its members. But even as I am no longer working for Karapatan now, I still receive such threats. Worse, my family is also being dragged into their propaganda. I am now a single mother, and I wanted not to be disturbed by these lies.” /lzb
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