ZAMBOANGA CITY: The military released the girlfriend of a senior communist rebel leader arrested in Davao City after security officials said she was unaware of her partner’s underground activities.
Capt. Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, on Thursday said Judith Niog was released from military and police custody, but authorities are still holding Roy Erecre, who is allegedly a politburo member of the Communist Party of the Philippines and regional leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Central Visayas.
Erecre and Niog were arrested Wednesday in the village of Sasa where undercover agents tailed them undetected for one week while vacationing in different beach resorts and hotels in Davao.
Caber said authorities are still deciphering the contents of a USB drive and documents seized from Erecre during his arrest. He said some P352,000 in cash and various hotel receipts were also taken from the rebel leader.
He said the money may have come from extortion activities of the NPA in central Philippines and was supposed to go to the coffers of the rebel group, but had been absconded by Erecre.
“We still don’t know where he got the money, but it can end up in the coffers of the NPA or wired directly to Jose Maria Sison or finance terror attacks and it is clear that he absconded the money,” Caber said referring to the founder of the CPP who is currently in exile in The Netherlands.
Caber said Erecre has a P5.4 million bounty on his head and is facing a string of criminal cases in Cebu and Bohol.
Both the CPP and the NPA did not release any statement about Erecre’s arrest. The rebels have been fighting for decades now for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country.