PNP chief hits Colmenares for claiming gov’t forces abducted supporters
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde on Monday denied the accusation of Bayan Muna chairman and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares that government forces abducted two of his group’s supporters.
The PNP chief said they were actually arrested for alleged illegal possession of guns and explosives.
He revealed this information after Colmenares speculated that state forces are the “only ones with the motive and capability” to abduct John Griefin Arlegui, 19, and Reynaldo Viernes, 24, whom he claimed were activists supporting Bayan Muna for the May 13 elections.
Colmenares claimed that witnesses from the group Kadamay claimed that the two were held at gunpoint by armed men near an Iglesia ni Cristo church in Barangay Sta. Cruz in Bulacan before they were forced inside a car without a license plate.
But in a statement, Albayalde said that as a lawyer, Colmenares should “know better than jump into conclusion without the benefit of careful examination of facts and surrounding circumstances of the subject that he is talking about.”
“For the nth time, he has been proven wrong in his template allegation of abduction of members belonging to militant organizations,” said Albayalde.
He said the two were arrested in the nearby province Nueva Ecija on Saturday. They were presented before state prosecutors on Monday and were brought to the custody of the office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the province.
“Had Atty. Colmenares bothered to work more diligently rather than shoot from the hip with shotgun accusations, he would have found his ‘members’ sooner and be spared the embarrassment of the Boy Who Cried Wolf,” Albayalde said.
“We all know where he is coming from, but unfortunately he is not helping himself muster the public awareness and trust ratings that he desperately needs to get to where he wants to go,” he also said. /ee
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