NTF-Elcac admits presenting 2 activists in presser a ‘wrong move’
MANILA, Philippines — The anti-communist task force on Thursday described as a “wrong move” its decision to present the two pro-environment activists in a press conference.
On Tuesday, Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro unleashed a bombshell revelation that they were abducted by soldiers during a media engagement organized by the NTF-Elcac itself, whose officials claim that both of them surrendered in their own volition.
“I would say it is a wrong move,” said NTF-Elcac chief Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr., referring to the press conference.
“There is something that we can learn from this experience; we just have to face it squarely, deal with it, and learn from it,” Torres added.
Torres also said this incident would make NTF-Elcac be more careful when it comes to presenting supposed surrenderees.
“They are so good with this kind of propaganda, so it is a lesson learned for all of us to tread cautiously in undertaking this kind of activity,” he added.
Tamano and Castro, who went missing on September 2, reportedly surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 70th Infantry Battalion in Doña Remedios Trinidad town on September 12, which both activists disputed, adding that they were coerced to sign the affidavit.
The Army, however, insisted that they were not forced and that they had written their affidavit while Tamano’s step father was present, and the document was signed with the presence of a Public Attorney’s Office lawyer.
The Army is now preparing a case of perjury, but their legal counsel said the activists are ready to face charges.