Interior Secretary Eduardo Año warned all local leaders last Wednesday, Dec. 30 not to harbor or go easy on communist rebels.
The warning was precipitated by an incident that two top communist rebels一Ruel Custodio and Ruben Istokado一were arrested on Dec. 26 in a house owned by a provincial board member of Quezon in Atimonan town. They were arrested by virtue of court-issued warrants inside Tan’s house.
Board Member Rhodora Tan was allegedly accused of “coddling” these two rebels; if found guilty, she would be charged criminally and administratively and at the most be jailed for six years, Año said.
“How can she explain the arrest of the NPA (New People’s Army) members in her home? It’s wrong to coddle and protect the enemies of the state who have long been making our citizens suffer. There are harsher sanctions if you are a public official,” Año said.
He lambasted Tan for instead of taking the lead so these terrorists may be arrested, she allegedly protected or coddled them.
“Where does your loyalty lie? The country and democracy or the terrorists and communism?” Año asked.
Custodio is allegedly a finance officer of the NPA’s Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee, while Istokado is allegedly a political instructor of the Bicol Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA.
Tan, however, strongly denied her involvement with the communist rebels.
Photo: Philippine Star