Police served two more arrest warrants against detained human rights activist Renalyn Tejero in Butuan City on Monday afternoon, March 22, for her alleged participation in separate attacks on soldiers in Caraga Region 4 years ago.
Major Dorothy Tumulak, Caraga police spokesperson, said the arrest warrants were for multiple attempted murder and attempted murder filed by the police against Tejero last year. The cases are linked to offensives of the New People’s Army against Army soldiers in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte, on two separate occasions in 2017.
The new arrest warrants, issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 34 in Agusan del Norte, were served while Tejero was in a custodial facility at Butuan City Police Station No. 1. Bail was set at P120,000 for each of the two new cases.
The 25-year-old paralegal officer of human rights watchdog Karapatan was arrested in a joint police and military operation in Cagayan de Oro on Sunday, March 21. The arrest was based on a different set of warrants for murder and multiple attempted murder – cases which sprang from the March 19, 2020 killings of two alleged former rebels in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur.
Tejero’s lawyer Jose Begil and Karapatan said she was given no opportunity to respond to the charges before the arrest warrants were issued.
Like the San Miguel murders, police wouldn’t state exactly how Tejero participated in the two NPA offensives in Agusan del Norte in 2017. Tumulak said the Caraga police cannot give details because the cases are now in court.
Tumulak did however share that one of Tejero’s cases was due to her alleged participation in an NPA offensive against an Army company from the 29th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Hinimbingan, Kitcharao town, Agusan del Norte, on February 5, 2017. Tejero was just 21 years old at that time.
The other case, Tumulak said, was in connection with an encounter between a rebel group and Scout Rangers from the same battalion in Mahayahay, Kitcharao town, on October 9, 2017.
In a statement, Caraga police director Brigadier General Romeo Caramat Jr said Tejero, until her March 21 arrest, was the “No. 1 most wanted NPA member in Caraga,” and her capture was “a big blow” to the Philippine communist movement and the decades-old armed rebellion. – Rappler.com