Bayan questions credibility of PNP witness in Kidapawan probe
A militant group claimed on Thursday that the witness of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the Senate investigation of the violent Kidapawan dispersal on April 1 is a “professional” rebel returnee and thus, does not have the credibility to become a witness.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said that Charlie Pasco, a former Communist rebel, first “surrendered” to government authorities in January 2014 then on March 29, 2016—three days before the bloody dispersal which left at least two people dead and left scores injured.
In January 2014, Pasco, whose alias is “Long Hair,” was one of the three alleged members of the New People’s Army who surrendered to elements of the 39th Infantry Batallion in Sitio Balagonon, Managa village, Bansalan town, Davao del Sur province. They all surrendered one M14 rifle and two M16 rifles.
Then on March 29, 2016, Pasco was also one of the nine rebel returnees who were given remuneration for returning firearms to government forces. He received P60,000 for returning an M14 rifle.
In light of these facts, Reyes said that Pasco should not be considered a credible witness as he is allegedly a paid agent of the AFP.
“Whichever it is, Pasco has zero credibility as a witness because he is a paid agent of the AFP. He already confessed under oath that he was there at the Spottswood Methodist church to infiltrate the rally, upon orders by his handlers from the AFP,” he said.
During the Senate hearing on the Kidapawan incident on Wednesday, Pasco claimed that 22-year-old Darwin Sulang, who died in the incident, was armed and opened fire at the police.
Pasco was presented to bolster the claim of the police that the protesters were armed and that opening fire against them was justified. He claimed that he was sent by the AFP to infiltrate the protesters’ ranks where he met Sulang who allegedly told him that he was armed with a .38 caliber gun.
Sulang’s father Ebao, refuted Pasco’s allegations, saying that he did not teach his son to fire a gun.
“It is another thing altogether if he was actually in Kidapawan as he claims because it was already reported that he was busy ‘surrendering’ and claiming a cash reward in Digos City on March 29. What is enraging here is the lengths the PNP and AFP will go through to cover up the truth. They will not hesitate to concoct lies and slander a dead person just to save their asses. They know fully well that dead men tell no tales, but how low can you get? Sa harap mismo ng tatay ng namatay, nagawa nilang magsinungaling, mag-imbento at magbintang (In front of father of the deceased, they lied, invented stories, and accused)!” Reyes said of Pasco’s allegations.
Sought for comment on the allegations that its witness is an alleged paid hack, PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor said that it is better to wait for the results of the investigation of the various government agencies involved in the incident.
“May I suggest we wait for the result of the investigation by the different agencies of the government,” Mayor told INQUIRER.net in a text message on Thursday. JE
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