DILG orders raps vs Quezon board member for ‘hiding’ 2 NPA leaders
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the filing of charges against a Quezon provincial board member who allegedly hid two suspected leaders of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
In a statement on Wednesday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said board member, Rhodora Tan, should be held “criminally and administratively liable” for allegedly coddling the two rebels – Ruel Custodio and Ruben Istokado – in her home in Barangay Zone 3 Poblacion in Atimonan.
The two NPA leaders, who are wanted for kidnapping and murder, were arrested over the weekend.
Custodio is allegedly the finance officer of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee responsible for the collection of “revolutionary taxes” in Quezon province, while Istokado is a political instructor responsible for propaganda work for Komiteng Probinsya 1 of the Bicol Regional Party Committee.
“Paano maipapaliwanag na sa bahay niya mismo nasakote ang mga NPA? Hindi tama na kanlungin at proteksyunan ang mga kaaway ng bayan na matagal nang nagpapahirap sa mga mamamayan. Mas mabigat ang asunto dito kapag ikaw ay isang public official,” Año said.
(How can you explain that the NPA rebels were arrested in her home? It is not right to coddle and protect the enemies of the state who have been bringing hardships to the people. There is heavier punishment if you are a public official.)
Año said that Tan could spend six years in jail if found guilty for obstruction of justice, under Presidential Decree 1829. At the same time, the Quezon provincial board member will be facing administrative liabilities for disloyalty to the Republic under Civil Service Commission Rules and Administrative Order 23, series of 1992.
Previously, Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), in a resolution, formally labeled the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as terrorist groups.
The CPP, however, rejected the designation, saying that it was “a precursor for heightened fascist suppression against the broad democratic forces which are being red-baited and persecuted for fighting [President Rodrigo] Duterte’s tyrannical rule and schemes to perpetuate the Duterte political dynasty.”
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