The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday announced that allegations made by the Tiamzon camp claiming that security forces stole P1.5 million from them during their arrest in Cebu last month, is only a diversionary tactic.
“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,” AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said.
“As a matter of fact, the recovered money which totaled to Php 23,545.35 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,” he added.
Zagala stressed that 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.
Despite the recent propaganda, Zagala said 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 well-being of our people,” he stated.
The couple was arrested by the PNP-CIDG along with five other NPA members while on their way to Aloguinsan, Cebu, last March 22.
Benito and Wilma are facing charges of murder, multiple murders, and frustrated murder.
They were involved in the 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. PNA