PNP must name officers who ordered listing of lawyers of alleged NPA rebels – Bayan Muna
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) should name the officers who ordered the intelligence chief of the Catbalogan City Police Station to get the names of the lawyers representing alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA), the party-list group Bayan Muna said in a statement issued on Saturday.
Sacking the intelligence chief, Lieutenant Fernando G. Calabria Jr is “meaningless,” House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Carlos Zarate, who is a Bayan Muna member, said.
“According to Calabria, the order to secure such list came from the ‘higher PNP offices’. Thus, the buck stops with police chief Gen. Debold Sinas. He should categorically publicly disown and denounce the existence of such a policy that will only put in danger the security and lives of lawyers, even their clients, as well,” Zarate said.
Calabria, who’s been relieved of his post, was found to have asked the clerk of court of the Calbayog City Regional Trial Court for the names of the lawyers.
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares said: “The officers who gave the orders must also be divulged,” said Colmenares.
He also warned lower-ranking PNP officials “implementing illegal orders from their generals” that they would eventually be abandoned if their superiors should find themselves in a tight spot.
Colmenares cited the example of retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan, who’s now serving his time in prison for his role in the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in 2006, during the term of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Just like Gen. Palparan who is now rotting in jail after he was abandoned by his superiors after Gloria Arroyo was imprisoned, this will also happen when President [Rodrigo] Duterte is gone in 2022,” Colmenares said. “The people demand accountability, not only from underlings, but the masterminds of all these repressive policies.
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