Prove ‘evidence planting’ in court, PNP dares militant groups

MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday challenged communist-front organizations to prove in court that pieces of evidence found during last week's raid in their offices in Bacolod City were planted.

Legitimacy is a status which they can prove during the trial if ever this will be pursued in the courts. Planting of evidence, stolen items are the usual allegations when we conduct search warrants. That's why the law provides na dapat may kasama kayong media (you should bring media members), local government units who will witness the service of the search warrant to avert all of these allegations but let them prove themselves in court if they say that these are planted, said PNP officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, in a press briefing in Camp Crame.

During the search, operatives seized a total of 32 assorted firearms, three hand grenades, two 40MM grenade launcher, assorted live ammunition, subversive documents and paraphernalia.

Gamboa said police-military operations, in compliance with Executive Order No. 70, aimed at ending local communist armed conflict, resulted in the arrest of more or less 40 ranking personalities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) personalities and the rescue of 14 newly-recruited CPP-NPA child warriors.

The operations were conducted in Barangay 33, Barangay Bata, and Barangay Taculing, all in Bacolod City, by virtue of search warrants issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89 Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert.

He said the arrested persons are undergoing documentation and investigation while the rescued child warriors will be placed under the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

What will happen is the confiscated evidence will be returned to the court. We will return the search warrant so we need to provide the evidence confiscated and from then on, we will build up the case to file against them basically for illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Na-establish na natin (we already established) interconnection of these organizations with the CPP-NPA, he stressed.

Gamboa, meanwhile, urged the groups to face the charges that will be filed against them.

We are starting off with the legal basis of service of the search warrant. First, they should respond to the charges of illegal possession nila of firearms and explosives. Later on, we are starting to build up cases to prove to them that they are supporting the CPP-NPA. This is because some NGOs (non-government organizations) pretend to do humanitarian works but they are doing otherwise. Now, they are starting to feel and to get hurt on the campaign of government to end the local communist terrorists and they will continue to do so unless they stop, Gamboa said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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