AFP tells Andrea Rosal: Enjoy your freedom, stay within bounds of law
MANILA, Philippines — Enjoy the freedom that you now enjoy.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it was deferring to the wisdom of the court, which cleared Andrea Rosal, daughter of a former New People’s Army spokesperson, of murder charges.
For Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs office chief, the court’s order releasing her from detention is proof of a working democracy.
“It only shows that we have a healthy democracy that’s working, that if you have rights, you fight it out in court,” said the military official on Tuesday.
Detoyato issued the statement the day after Rosal, daughter of ex-NPA spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, was freed after more than a year in detention.
A Quezon court had cleared her of murder charges. She was released on Monday night from the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
Rosal was eight months pregnant when she was arrested in Caloocan City in March last year. Her baby daughter died shortly after birth due to oxygen deficiency in the blood.
When asked for comment on the fact that the court dismissed the government’s charges against Rosal, Detoyato only said they would submit to the procedures and wisdom of the court.
“She should enjoy the freedom that she has got now, because democracy works,” the military official said.
The AFP maintains that Rosal is a member of the NPA although it does not see the dismissal of the charges as a blow to the counter-insurgency campaign.
“We have information about their NPA activities. If they continue those activities or commit a crime, then we will continue going after them,” Detoyato said.
“It will be up to them if they go back to their activities. It’s their decision. If they do so, we have a second chance to catch them again,” he added.
But if Rosal would lead a new, crime-free life, the AFP said she would not have to worry about the military.
Asked if the troops were suffering from low morale because of Rosal’s release, Detoyato said their soldiers have been properly briefed on legal proceedings and the workings of the court.
“We have to submit to the wisdom of the court, our AFP is very professional. If the courts have an order, we follow it,” he said. SFM
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