CAGAYAN, Philippines- The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and a local peasant group in Cagayan Valley region slammed the recent press release of the Philippine National Police (PNP) alleging slain activist Randy Malayao had disputes with the communist rebel group before his brutal murder.
Police on Saturday, February 2, released a purported statement from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) saying Malayao had allegedly misused funds of the CPP and the New People’s Army (NPA).
The accusation, however, was vehemently denied by the CPP.
In a statement published in the official website of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the communist rebel group said the statement was “Duterte regime’s foulest move” amidst cry for justice on the killing of Malayao.
Malayao, a listed peace consultant of the NDFP, was shot dead on January 30 while sleeping inside a bus in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. As a NDFP consultant, he joined the formal peace talks in Europe in 2017.
“This aims to cover up the responsibility of state agents, specifically Rodrigo Duterte’s death squads, which he himself ordered to carry out the killing,” the statement said.
The statement also accused PNP-Cagayan Valley regional unit of “not conducting any investigation” on the murder and instead “[covering it] up by spreading intrigue and slandering Ka Randy.”
With this, CPP said the police are inviting further killings of peace advocates, human rights defenders, and other activists.
“The revolutionary forces vow to attain justice for Ka Randy and punish the perpetrators of this fascist crime,” CPP said.
Meanwhile, militant group Makabayan Cagayan Valley called the statement “fake news” as they encouraged the PNP and AFP to “exercise reason and professionalism” as they go after Malayao’s killers.
“The recent press release of the PNP Region II Office, headed by [Chief Superintendent Jose Mario] Espino, is a blatant display that the government’s tactic is the lowest of low to justify its murder of peace activists,” Makabayan Cagayan Valley said.
The group also urged the police to release CCTV and dashcam footages on the killing to fast track the apprehension of the killers.
Police, however, said they could not release footages yet as the case is still being investigated. A reliable source also said the footages were brought to PNP main headquarters in Camp Crame. Northernforum.net