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MANILA, Philippines – Alleged communist leader Eric Jun Casilao was arrested in Malaysia and deported to the Philippines on Monday, April 17, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Casilao, who was handcuffed and accompanied by the PNP at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, is set to board a plane to Davao de Oro on Monday, ABS-CBN News reported.
The alleged communist leader was able to travel out of the Philippines using a fictitious name on a “genuinely issued passport,” said Bureau of Immigration deputy spokesperson Melvin Mabulac in a press conference.
Casilao, who has a P5.4-million bounty on his head, is facing multiple criminal cases that include two counts of murder, kidnapping, and serious illegal detention.
He was identified by the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division as secretary of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
The army said Casilao has been with the CPP-NPA for around 20 years with his wife, May Casilao.
In January 2022, the army said the Casilao couple escaped during an encounter of the NPA with the military in Davao de Oro. The said encounter killed Menandro Villanueva, one of the founders of the NPA.
Earlier on Monday, former Anakpawis party-list lawmaker Ariel Casilao expressed alarm over the life and safety of his brother Eric.
“I was informed by his lawyers that Eric was locked up in KLIA(Kuala Lumpur International Airport) as of yesterday in the afternoon processing the transfer to Philippine Embassy authorities,” the former lawmaker said on Monday.
The former lawmaker said in a statement that his brother had not been given access to legal counsel. Eric’s lawyers were also not given information about the details of their client’s deportation.
“I believe that Eric has the right to have access to his lawyers, at every stage of his being in the custody of authorities, and especially in the duration of his deportation and travel from Malaysia to the Philippines, I am very worried of his safety,” Ariel said. – Rappler.com