MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Wednesday it directed the filing of charges against a member of the Quezon provincial board for allegedly coddling 2 suspected communist rebels.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the official is a board member of the Fourth District of Quezon province.
In a statement, Año said the official “should be held criminally and administratively liable for allegedly coddling” two suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) “in her own residence” in Atimonan town.
Authorities arrested the suspected rebels, who are wanted for charges of kidnapping and murder, over the weekend.
“Hindi tama na kanlungin at proteksyunan ang mga kaaway ng bayan na matagal nang nagpapahirap sa mga mamamayan. Mas mabigat ang asunto dito kapag ikaw ay isang public official,” Año said.
(It is wrong to give shelter and protect the enemies who have long been oppressive to our citizens. The case is more serious here if you’re a public official.)
“Imbis na kayo ang manguna sa pagsuplong sa mga teroristang ito, kayo pa mismo ang kumakanlong sa kanila,” he added.
(Instead of leading the arrest of these terrorists, you are the ones who coddle them.)
The official could face up to 6 years of imprisonment if found guilty of obstruction of justice, according to Año.
“Puwede rin siyang kasuhan as an accomplice or accessory to the crimes committed by the NPA members kapag napatunayan na involved siya or may effort on her part to protect them,” Año said.
(She can be charged as an accomplice or accessory to the crimes committed by the NPA members if it could be proven that she’s involved or there’s an effort on her part to protect them.)
Año added the official could also face administrative liabilities for Disloyalty to the Republic under Civil Service Commission Rules and Administrative Order 23, series of 1992.
“(The official) can either be removed or suspended from office when found guilty,” he said.
ABS-CBN News is withholding the identity of the concerned official pending her statement on the issue, as well as the formal filing of charges against her.