Leftists weave yarns, scams

The Philippine National Police earlier reported that two young women involved in an anti-reclamation campaign in Manila Bay were missing, and this was linked to their advocacy.

The desperation of left-wing groups to remain relevant has pushed them to resort to “elaborate hoaxes and fraudulent money-making schemes,” the National Security Council said on Saturday.

NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said the attempts to defraud came in the guise of manufactured claims against government security agencies.

Earlier, the Philippine National Police reported that two young women involved in an anti-reclamation campaign in Manila Bay were missing, and this was linked to their advocacy.

Malaya said Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro had surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 70th Infantry Battalion in Doña Remedios Trinidad town in Bulacan on 12 September, contrary to leftist groups’ allegation that government security forces had abducted the two.

“They had actually bolted their organization and sought the help of the authorities for their safe return home,” he said.


Fake fundraising

Malaya accused the leftist groups of soliciting funds from the public and making it appear that the security forces were irrelevant in protecting the general safety.

“They collect money through GCash with the intent of using this to discredit and put the government in a bad light. They want the international community to believe that this country is a failed state,” Malaya said.

“The Karapatan-led offensive included a shameless fundraising drive to collect money from the public purportedly to help locate the two young girls. It turned out, however, that the two had bolted their underground organization and went under the care of a friend,” he said.

Karapatan is a militant group purportedly advocating for the protection of human rights.

Malaya slammed Karapatan’s massive disinformation campaign, “Surface Jonila and Jed Network,” saying, “This was made out of manufactured threads of storylines using the Internet that even the media, the viewing public, and the government became victims of the elaborate deception.”

Karapatan was among the first groups to sound the alarm after the two anti-reclamation activists went missing.

With help from the Department of Justice, the NSC and PNP’s Cybercrime Group have started to build a case against the scammers from the leftist groups.

“We will certainly investigate their possible liabilities in relation to the Revised Penal Code, anti-cybercrime law, and other special laws. We’re working now with the Department of Justice on the possible filing of charges against them,” Malaya said.


Not an abduction

Meanwhile, Police Capt. Carlito Buco of the Bataan Provincial Police Office said Tamano and Castro were in a safe house with their parents.

Citing the police’s final investigation report, Buco said Tamano and Castro were not “abducted” and could not be declared “missing persons.”

“The two young girls were staying at a Methodist church in Orion town as far back as 1 September and had been planning to leave their organization,” he said.

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