MANILA – Amidst the exchange of tirades between the military and rights group Karapatan, which persistently denies being a front organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), a receipt for the bail payment of an NPA leader in 2015 seems to show otherwise.
A photocopy of official receipt No. 8369533 B, obtained Thursday from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), indicates that PHP200,000 cash bond was paid by then Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region secretary general Honey May Suazo on July 7, 2015, for the release of arrested leader Zaldy Canete alias “Ka Jinggoy”.
The payment was received by the office of lawyer Albert A. Torrijos, of the Regional Trial Court in Tagum City.
Canete, who was arrested in Davao del Norte province in January 2010, is facing multiple murder charges in connection with several rebel attacks.
After his release, Canete reportedly became commander of the NPA’s 1st Pulang Bagani Command in Southern Mindanao, replacing Leoncio Pitao alias “Ka Parago”, who was killed in an encounter with Army soldiers in Barangay Pañalum, Paquibato District in Davao City at around 2:30 p.m. of June 28, 2015.
Canete, who reportedly joined the NPA when he was 13 years old, has been tagged by law enforcers in the death of Loreto, Agusan del Sur Mayor Dario Otaza, 57, and his son, Darryl, 20, who were forcibly taken by suspected members of NPA disguised as National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents from their house at around 6:50 of Oct. 19, 2015.
The Army’s 10th Infantry Division confirmed that Canete returned to his group after posting bail, but not until he was arrested again in May 2018 while recuperating at Don Carlos District Hospital (DCDH) in Bukidnon due to gunshot wounds sustained in another encounter with the military.
AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said the bail payment receipt is one incriminating documentary evidence that links Karapatan with the communist terrorist group.
“This is one of clear instances of Karapatan coming to the aid and succor of the communists,” Arevalo said.
He said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay should explain Suazo’s act in providing for a hefty amount to secure the release of an arrested leader Zaldy Canete alias “Ka Jinggoy” with standing warrant of arrest.
“There are many other individuals out there whose temporary liberties can be secured by a bond. Let Karapatan justify why they are selective with whom they will shell out money,” Arevalo added.
Meanwhile, a group of former NPA members belonging to People’s Alliance for Truth and Healing (PATH), claimed Karapatan is a human rights group for the defense of communists.
“Bakit tahimik ang Karapatan on the extra judicial killings (EJK) sa loob ng kilusan, yung libo-libong pinag bintangan na deep penetration agents (DPA), mga sectoral group members na pinapatay kasi in opposition sa stand ng communist terrorist group (CTG)? Nasaan ang (Where is) Karapatan when it comes to that? (Why is Karapatan silent on the EJKs, the thousands accused and killed for being alleged DPAs, the many sectoral group members killed for opposing the stand of CTG),” lamented Ka Junie, of PATH which is also composed of survivors and relatives of victims of communist “purging”.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)