Alleged NPA official retracts ‘admissions’ in new affidavit
After all the publicity that accompanied her alleged surrender to no less than the Secretary of National Security, Annie Tauli, on July 16, signed an affidavit recanting a previous statement that contained her supposed admissions that she is the secretary of the Regional White Area Committee of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
Tauli has signed her second affidavit 11 days after a press presentation in Baguio City where she received her reward under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
In her second affidavit, Tauli said that in the 18 days that she was under custody, all that she shared was what she had been doing in her career and development work.
She said there were many statements in her first affidavit that she did not say, such as her naming nine peoples organizations as front organizations of the CPP-NPA and Jill Cariño, a known activist in Baguio as a member of the CPP.
“The truth is, during the interrogation, I was asked about these organizations and I told them about what I know in relation to the development and advocacy work that they do, and that all these activities are legal.”
Tauli also reiterated that her meeting with National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon was not a surrender but to clear her name of allegations of her involvement with CPP-NPA, particularly her ties with Julius Giron, a ranking CPP official, who was killed along with two other in an encounter with policemen and soldiers in Baguio City in March.
Tauli is said to be the party wife of Giron, but she said in her second affidavit that she does not know him.
Tauli said her first affidavit, which was written in Filipino, was a product of long hours and several days of interrogation by unnamed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and her desire to immediately return to her hometown in Besao, Mountain Province.
“The interrogation and the detention added to the anxiety that has already built up inside me because of the threats to my life and security,” Tauli said.
Tauli, who claims that she is not well-versed in Filipino, said she merely glossed over the first affidavit but did not fully understand the same, and she was not provided a lawyer who should have explained the document’s contents to her.
Tauli also said she was not aware that she will be presented twice before the press in Navy Base and at the Baguio City Hall multipurpose hall: the first one to announce that she supposedly surrendered and the second to receive her reward.
Tauli’s second affidavit is being verified by the National Security Council. Pending investigation, National Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict spokesperson Marlon Bosantog said they will not comment yet. The Courier also tried to get the comment of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera through its public information officer Carol Lacuata, but she did not respond to our message.
The DILG-CAR, meanwhile, said they will leave it to the Department of Justice what further action they will take regarding Tauli’s recantation of her first affidavit. However, personnel in-charge of the processing of E-CLIP benefits said Tauli should, on her own accord, return the money she got, without waiting for a formal demand from the government.
On account of her recanting her previous statement, release of her remaining reward will be withheld. – Rimaliza A. Opiña