Saturday, September 19, 2015

AFP spokesman: ‘Hit list’ claim came from NPA supporters

From GMA News (Sep 19): AFP spokesman: ‘Hit list’ claim came from NPA supporters

The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Saturday belied the existence of a supposed military "hit list" against members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives.
"There is no truth to that said hit list whatsoever. If you will look at the sources, it can be learned that all of them are supportive of the NPA (New People's Army)," AFP Spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla Jr. told GMA News Online on Saturday.
He added: "It is apparent then that this is once again a clear attempt to discredit the AFP and continue on demonizing the organization mandated by law to act as protector of the people."
The statement comes a day after former and incumbent lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc asked the Supreme Court to issue writs of amparo and habeas data against alleged military and police harassment.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police Spokesman C/Supt. Wilben Mayor did not give further comment on the "hit list" issue and said the PNP will just the matter to proper authorities.

"The PNP will let the law take its course. It is part of the Democratic system of our country," he said.
The petitioners including Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Gabriela Rep. Emerenciana de Jesus, former Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano and former Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño said in their plea that their party-list groups have been tagged by the AFP and PNP as "”communist front organizations.”
They also claimed that their leaders and members have been targets of attacks under the government's counterinsurgency programs.
In an interview over state-run radio dzRB, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Palace is not aware of a "hit list."
“I am not aware of that hit list that they are claiming, but since they have already filed a petition for those proper writs before the court, then let the court processes take its course na lang... Kung mayroon ‘yang basis o wala, the courts will decide,” he said.
He said what they have is a list of people with arrest warrants.

“But, certainly, ang mayroon kami ‘yung mga may warrants of arrest. ‘Di ba, kailangan talaga magkaroon ng [warrant]… May listahan po tayo ng mga mayroong warrant of arrest na tinitingnan,” he said.
“That is as far as I know, that we are always going after criminal elements—those people who have warrants of arrest—and that is the reason why the ‘Oplan Lambat Sibat’ has been very, very effective in arresting all those who have warrants of arrest,” he added.

GMA News Online tried to contact the Makabayan bloc but the group has yet to make a replay.

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