By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar insisted that the recent raid in Bacolod City which resulted in the arrest of over 60 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) was not a form of harassment as he decried claims that local authorities planted evidence in the said raid.
Andanar issued the statement after progressive groups said the arrest was a form of harassment and accused the government of planting evidence.
In a statement, Andanar, who is also the communications chief of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), said the pieces of evidence they confiscated were legally obtained.
“We decry any claim that they were planted by our law enforcement authorities as we have proof they were obtained through legal means,” he said.
Evidence recovered from those arrested include assorted short caliber firearms, sub-machine guns, machine guns, live ammunitions, hand grenades, bladed weapons, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) flags, megaphones, microphones, and voluminous subversive documents.
Andanar also denied that the raid was a form of harassment against the Communists.
“We assert that any allegations that the raids conducted were a form of harassment are simply false and we have hard evidence secured to prove our argument,” he said.
“The data contained in the confiscated documents will be carefully inspected and used as grounds to file a new set of cases,” he added.
“We condemn the deceptive revolutionary tactics that these communist terrorist organizations have employed by masking themselves as ‘progressive groups’ in order to destroy the reputation of the government,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Andanar commended joint efforts of the local police and military in successfully carrying out a bloodless operation.
“The raid was conducted in a lawful, safe, quick, and precise manner, as a result of the close coordination of the agencies in the NTF-ELCAC. These operations show the government’s respect for democracy and its adherence to the rule of law,” he said.
Andanar said that the authorities secured search warrants on four locations in Bacolod City after receiving reports of suspected illegal possession of firearms and explosives by members of the NPA.
“Upon confirming the intel regarding the possession of these dangerous firearms and the duplicitous nature of the arrested individuals who are affiliated with the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) legal organization fronts,” he said.