An alleged high-ranking leader of the Communist of the Philippines-New People’s Army on Monday was deported to the Philippines following his arrest in Malaysia, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
In a press conference, PNP Director for Intelligence Police Major General Benjamin Acorda Jr. announced that alleged CPP-NPA leader Eric Jun Casilao was intercepted by Malaysian authorities at the Langkawi Immigration check-in counter.
Acorda said Casilao was on his way to Thailand via ferry boat.
“He was subsequently detained for violation of Malaysian Immigration laws and thereafter deported to the Philippines on April 17,” Acorda said.
Acorda said Casilao was the alleged secretary of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) of the CPP-NPA and a member of the Central Committee of the CPP.
“Emanating from this, non-bailable cases such as murder, attempted murder, and kidnapping, and serious illegal detention,” Acorda said.
Malaysian authorities also arrested May Vargas Casilao, according to Acorda.
He said she served as a plenary member of the SMRC and has a standing warrant of arrest for kidnapping, serious illegal detention, and attempted murder.
Fearing for safety
Meanwhile, former Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao, Casilao’s brother, called on Philippine authorities to protect Casilao’s rights.
He said he was informed by Casilao’s lawyers that they were denied information regarding the details of his deportation.
“I now fear for his life and safety, while he is in the custody of Philippine officials as they have refused to give his legal representatives relevant information regarding his current status,” Ariel said in a statement.
“I believe that Eric has the right to have access to his lawyers, at every stage of his being in the custody of authorities, and especially in the duration of his deportation and travel from Malaysia to the Philippines, I am very worried of his safety,” he added.
Ariel also said he would reach out to the Commission on Human Rights, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Amnesty International.
Meanwhile, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) executive director Ernesto Torres Jr. declared the SRMC to be “totally defeated” after the arrest of Casilao.
“His arrest in Malaysia, beyond doubt, proves that no criminal or terrorist can escape the long arm of our sovereign laws,” Torres said in a statement.
“Mr. Casilao will now have his day in court and will be accorded due process based on our democratic justice system that he and his cohorts have long wished to destroy,” he added.
Torres also extended his gratitude to Philippine authorities and their Malaysian counterparts.
“Rest assured that as we continue to tread the path of genuine peace and equitable development for all, we shall be relentless in running after those who did our fellow Filipinos harm and caused undue suffering and strife on our people for so many years,” he said.—LDF, GMA Integrated News