APO lambasts de Lima for accusing members before the media
MANILA, Philippines - A famous member of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is in the country, but local members may not be able to see him straight in the eye.
In an interview with radio dzMM, APO spokesman Ferdie Ramos said “labis kaming nahihiya kay President Clinton, ang kanyang APO counterpart ay sinasabing terorista na…” (We’re embarrassed a counterpart of former US President Bill Clinton in the Philippines is being tagged as a terrorist.)
Ramos said the fraternity, one of Clinton’s sponsors in his visit to Manila, is being maliciously blamed before the media as the culprit behind several bombings.
The fraternity recently cooperated with the Department of Justice (DOJ) after one of its members, Anthony Leal Nepomuceno, was tagged in the September 26 Bar exam blast that left around 50 people injured.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said 2 more members may have helped Nepomuceno escape from the incident.
To add insult to the injury, de Lima said the APO may also be behind 2 previous grenade-throwing incidents in the past: one in La Consolacion College in Manila that left 22 people injured in March 2008; another in Perpetual College Las Piñas in March this year which left at least 14 injured.
Ramos said “ang problema, parating sa media kami inaakusahan. Mauuna kaming kokondenahin, tapos sasabihin niyang di kami nakikipag-cooperate.”
He said authorities never tagged anyone before in those 2 incidents.
“Bigla-bigla, in only 5 days [after re-opening of case], tayo [APO] pa pala ang nagbomba,” he said.
He said de Lima should be focusing on filing a case against authorities before the Office of the Ombudsman for neglecting their duties with regard to the 2 cases.
“Ipinaaalam namin na hindi nagbabago ang aming pangako na makikipag-cooperate kami,” he said.
De Lima should, however, coordinate with the fraternity as well rather than bring to the media her accusations, he said.
“Pinaalam daw sa amin yung [2 others accused in Bar blast], hindi po. Dapat alam ko, dahil ako ang namumuno sa investigation [within APO],” he said.
Ramos noted there are more than 150,000 members of APO. The least De Lima could do is to identify the names to them so the fraternity could help with the investigations, he added.