AFP vows to cooperate in ‘Morong’ case review

THE pressure exerted by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on the Department of Justice (DoJ), and consequently the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to review the case of “Morong 43” has paid off.

Yesterday, the AFP hierarchy agreed to cooperate on the review of cases against 43 health workers who were arrested in Morong, Rizal early this year on suspicion that they are New People’s Army (NPA) members.

This came after President Aquino, who himself was pressured by various international groups, directed DoJ to immediately conduct the review the case of the Morong 43.

AFP spokesman and Civil Relation Service (CRS) chief Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta gave assurance that the military will fully cooperate on the review of the case.

“The AFP will cooperate with any investigating authority who will ask for our participation in the review and reinvestigation of the Morong case,” Mabanta said in a text message to defense reporters.

The AFP spokesman said the military is willing to provide more details on the case and allow military personnel to appear before the courts or the DoJ during the review procedures.

“We will not bar any member of the organizations from appearing before the court if summoned by competent authorities for the speedy resolution of the case,” he said.

He added: “Just to clarify, the arrest of the suspected NPA members was made with proper warrants of arrests and search warrants and it was done in the presence of two barangay councilors and the house caretaker.”

The AFP spokesman said the military will respect whatever the result or outcome of the reinvestigation on Morong 43, who were charged with illegal possession of explosives and firearms.

“Whatever will be the result n outcome of the reinvestigation of this case, we will honor and respect,” Mabanta said. Anthony Vargas

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