Friday, April 11, 2014

Tiamzons Camp’s False Accusation a Diversion from Murder Charges

From the Website of AFP

CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) supported law enforcement operations conducted by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) which led to the legal arrest of top New People’s Army (NPA) leaders, Benito and Wilma Tiamzon last March 22 in Cebu.

Taking part in the intelligence buildup, the AFP assisted the PNP-CIDG who served the warrant against the couple. The CIDG followed due process and diligence in ensuring that all items recovered from the couple and five others who were arrested with them were accounted properly.

The accusation of the Tiamzons’ legal counsel and Bayan’s Renato Reyes that the military has P1.5 Million in our custody is completely false. This is a diversionary tactic to escape their accountability for the crimes they have committed against so many civilians.

As a matter of fact, the recovered money which totaled to P23,545.35 and all items to include personal belongings and laptops were issued inventory receipt signed by Nona Castillo and Rex Villaflor; two of the five others who were also arrested with the Tiamzons.

For the AFP, the capture and accountability of the Tiamzons for their crimes has higher value than any amount of money. We carefully and faithfully followed the rule of law and the necessary procedures because we want the arrest of these top NPA leaders to be a key milestone in our thrust to neutralize the NPA leadership.

“It is ironic that they are mentioning this huge amount of money at their disposal while their fighters have a meager ‘supamil’ (support to families) of P800-1,500 per month. This is indeed an eye opener for the NPA to lay down their arms and once again return to living normal lives,” Major General John S. Bonafos, Commander, AFP Central Command said.

Despite the recent propaganda, the AFP is confident that the couple will be made accountable for their crimes against our people. Their false accusation does not remove the fact that they have committed multiple counts of murder against so many civilians, and that the continued aggression by the NPA rebels remains a threat to the safety and wellbeing of our people.

The couple was arrested by the PNP-CIDG along with five other NPA members while on their way to Aloguinsan, Cebu, March 22. Benito and Wilma are now facing charges of murder, multiple murders, and frustrated murder. They were involved in the brutal killing of 15 civilians in Inopacan, Leyte who they later buried in a mass grave that was discovered in 2006. Benito Tiamzon was then the Secretary of the Eastern Visayas Regional Committee when the massacre was executed.

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