Last Updated on
The Palawan Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict or PTF-ELCAC de-listed three priests from their list of persons allegedly supporting the New People’s Army (NPA). This was announced in the ongoing two-day summit in Puerto Princesa City.
Father Armando Limsa of NATRIPAL, Father Jasper Lahan of Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa-Social Action Center, and Father Joseph Cacacha, allegedly a member of Aldaw coordinated with the task force and denied their involvement with the communist group.
“Sina Father Armando Limsa, Father Joseph Cacacha at Father Jasper Lahan ay nakipag-cooperate na po sa PTF-ELCAC at nagsabing hindi sila sumusuporta sa Communist Terrorist Group,” said the Representative of Situational Awareness and Knowledge Management Cluster (SAKAM) of PTF-ELCAC.
Vice Admiral Medina, Commander of Western Command, declared that all priests proved that they are not members of the rebel movement nor of the Red fighters. He added that the task force has no evidence linking them to the CTG.
The priests told the military that they themselves do not even know the reason why their names were included in the documents recovered by the military from the rebels.
In a press conference last December 2, the task force identified the priests whose names were found in some documents confiscated from arrested rebels.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa -Social Action Center (AVPP-SAC) in a press statement then expressed their surprise and dismay at the report that three of their priests are included on the list of groups known to be connected to CPP-NPA-NDF.
“The AVPP Social Action Office serves the poor and the marginalized which is now headed by Father Jasper Lahan. Father Arman Limsa has long been an advocate for the indigenous peoples as he himself is a member of Tagbanua IP group, while Father Joseph Cacacha was never a member of the group called Aldaw,” said the AVPP when the false allegation was made public.
Strongly denying the claims, the AVPP added that “as a Church, they (priests) are only called to proclaim the truth, to serve the common interest of our people and to work for peace. May we be kept safe in the love of God, as we pursue our mission.”