AFP to file perjury charges vs. two environmental activists who recant statements
AFP to file perjury charges vs. two environmental activists who recant statements
AFP to file perjury charges vs. two environmental activists who recant statements
by Ellicia Del Mundo21 September 2023
Screen grabbed from NTF-ELCAC

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is planning to file perjury charges against two environmental activists, who retracted their statements and claimed that the military abducted them.

Negros Occidental Rep. Mercedes Alvarez Alvarez, who is sponsoring the defense department's 2024 budget, disclosed this during the plenary debates of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

"No, and the AFP plans to file perjury cases or charges against the two," she said when asked if the AFP admits that it abducted and detained the two female environmental activists namely, Jed Tamano and Jonila Castro.

Alvarez said witnesses, including the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) lawyers, stepfather of one of the two activists, and the military officers, can attest that the two voluntarily signed the sworned statements that they freely surrender as rebels.


"And they were even asked if they were coerced into signing by her stepfather and she denied being coerced," she added.

The Negros Occidental Rep. stressed that the AFP believes that "honesty is the best currency of leadership."

"It is is most critical today that truth prevails because mistrust is the most default mode or reaction. Therefore, we stand with our Philippine Army," she said.


Meanwhile, in a statement issued the same day, AFP spokesperson Medel Aguillar said they would be conducting an investigation to "identify those involved in the plot" to deceive the government.

"The brazen act is part of a sinister plot to embarrass and discredit the government and is good intention," he said.

Appropriate legal charges will be filed against the perpetrators, according to Aguillar.

Interviewed during DZRH's Magandang Umaga Pilipinas on Wednesday morning, PAO Chief Perisda Acosta said they were "hurt" by the retractions of Tamano and Castro during a press conference held on Tuesday.


"Meron tayong PAO lawyer na nag-assist sa dalawang diumano sumuko at may written statement pa iyon at detalyadong sumuko. Pagkatapos ngayon, bumabaliktad, ituturo na coerced daw sila, napwersa," she said.

"Nag-iiba sila ng statement, huwag gano'n. Katukutan nila ang perjury na kaso," Acosta added.

The PAO Chief said she hope that recantation would not occur again.

"Maging patas tayo sa Public Attorney's Office. Hirap na hirap na yung PAO. Kulang pa nga sweldo sa pagtupad ng tungkulin sa korte.. Sa puntong iyan, wala naman ganyanan," she said.

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