May 062013

Malacañang on Monday denied the existence of a supposed “hit list” containing names of “most wanted” communist rebels in the country, which progressive groups said may cause further harassment in their ranks from government security forces.

“There is no ‘hit list.’ What we have is the list of those who have been issued warrants of arrest,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said at a press briefing.

He added that the list of persons with standing arrest warrants can be easily accessed by the public from courts.

“They are public. These are all public documents. A warrant of arrest is a public document issued by the courts,” he said.

The Manila Standard Today on Monday published a report on some political and human rights activists fearing the revival of a supposed “hit list” the government may use against communist rebels.

The report said lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc wants the government to publicly release the names of 235 wanted communists in the country. 

Last year, the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Defense came up with a joint order listing the names of 235 suspected insurgents with standing warrants, carrying P176-million total bounty on their heads.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, for his part, said the public deserves to know which names are on this list, since the bounty being offered comes from their taxes.

“Kapag naghahanap ka nga ng labandera, inilalagay mo sa labas ng bahay mo: ‘Wanted Labandera.’ The public deserves to know this. We want this list released kasi we had a bad experience during the past administration when this kind of list is being used as basis for extrajudicial killings,” Colmenares said in a separate phone interview. Andreo Calonzo/RSJ, GMA News

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