FORMER Anakpawis party-list Representative Ariel Casilao and six members of the militant group were held by the police in Norzagaray, Bulacan for reportedly trying to distribute anti-government propaganda materials while conducting a relief operation for the poor on Sunday.
Bulacan Police Provincial Office director, Colonel Lawrence B. Cajipe said that around 11 a.m. Sunday, members of the Norzagaray Municipal Police Station manning a Quarantine Control Point in Barangay Bigte flagged down a passenger jeep whose driver failed to produce any quarantine documents Cajipe said the policemen led by Lieutenant Schniedeer Garcia also found out that the passengers of the jeep were not also carrying appropriate quarantine pass and merely claimed they were out to conduct a relief operation in the area.
During a visual search of the vehicle, officers found alongside the relief goods being carried by the accused a “huge volume of pamphlets, magazines and circulars with subversive contents.”
The jeep with plate no. ZNH-869 was impounded. Cajipe said tarpaulins with the words ‘Sagip Kanayunan and Tulong Anakpawis’ were found hanged on each side of the jeep.
Cajipe said the six occupants of the vehicle were identified as Karl Mae San Juan,29, a resident of Project 6, Quezon City; Marlon Lester Gueta,26, of Bgy. 172, 1422 Caloocan City; Roberto Medel,52, of Kamias, Q.C.; Eriberto Peña Jr.,60, of Tungkong Mangga, San Jose del Monte City; Raymar Guaves,21, of Bahay Toro, Project 8, Q.C.; and Raymar Guaves,21; and Tobi Estrada,22, of Malingap Street, Q.C.
Two of the suspects turned out to be students who presented identification cards from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Both claimed they were merely lured by their other companions to join in the purported relief operation.
Cajipe said that two hours after the six were apprehended, 40-year old ex-Anakpawis Rep. Casilao appeared at the Norzagaray police station and stated he is accompanying his members.
The official said that following talks, the relief goods being carried by the six were turned over to Bgy. Bigte officer-in-charge Rose Cappafor for distribution to residents of Kalye 11.
All were subjected to questioning and documentation while appropriate charges for violation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine are being readied against them, Cajipe said.
Police Regional Office 3 director, Brigadier General Rhodel O. Sermonia said he has ordered the entire Central Luzon police to be wary of similar attempts by left-leaning groups to engage in anti-government propaganda while in the guise of distributing relief goods for poor residents of the region.
“While it is true that Bayanihan should prevail in this crisis brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic, it should be without malice and must be done in the true spirit of nationalism and patriotism,” Sermonia said.