PH military denies ‘harassment’ in arrest of alleged communist rebels
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday denied the claims of harassment in the recent law enforcement operations in Manila and Bacolod City that led to the arrest of suspected members of the New People’s Army.
AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement that the arrests were covered by appropriate warrants issued by the court.
“There was no harassment… That we submitted our application for a search warrant to the scrutiny of issuing judge and the latter finds probable cause to issue search warrant shows that there are sufficient grounds to conduct the search,” he said.
Nearly 60 persons linked with Bayan Muna, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela, the National Federation of Sugar Workers, and other progressive groups were arrested in Bacolod City on October 31.
Law enforcers also recovered explosive and high-powered firearms during the raid.
On Tuesday, three members of progressive groups were arrested by police at the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan office in Tondo, Manila.
Arevalo dismissed the claims of the activists that the pieces of evidence recovered by authorities were planted.
“There is this legal maxim that says, ‘He who makes the assertions has the burden of proving his claim.’ Therefore, if they allege that the 32 firearms, 130 rounds of ammunition, and five pieces of explosives were planted by lawmen, they must prove so,” the AFP official said.
“No one is above the law. By claiming that they are legitimate organizations does not make them exempted from legal processes,” he also said.
“If they feel aggrieved, the proper resort is with the courts,” he added. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.