Release of alleged NPA leader worries AFP
MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be closely monitoring the movements of an alleged ranking leader of the New People's Army (NPA) who was released last Friday.
Rolly Panesa was released from detention on Friday after the Court of Appeals (CA) granted a writ of habeas corpus.
The CA also said authorities were not able to prove that Panesa is the same person as Benjamin Mendoza, an alleged secretary of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee of the NPA.
A security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the intelligence community will be closely monitoring the movements of Panesa.
The official said the Office of the Solicitor General has asked the CA to reconsider its decision.
"Our monitoring will continue because most (NPA members) who were released from detention have returned (to the underground movement)," he said.
Panesa was arrested by the military in Quezon City last year for murder and kidnapping.
An amount of P5.6 million was rewarded to an informant that led the military to Panesa's arrest.
Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP public affairs chief, has earlier said Mendoza and Panesa are the same person.
"We are very firm that Rolly Panesa and Benjamin Mendoza is one and the same person based on facts and witnesses," said Zagala.
Zagala also insisted that the information they got about Panesa is legitimate.
"The basis for the capture of Benjamin Mendoza came from legitimate intelligence information that warranted the release of the P5.6-million reward money," added Zagala.