PRO-COR trades words with CPA on Balao abduction

BAGUIO CITY — The head of the Police Regional Office in the Cordillera (PRO-COR) insinuates that the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) is not cooperative on their effort for the investigation on James Balao abduction.

CPA on the other hand claimed they did all the cooperation efforts and in fact facilitated the interview of the abduction witnesses by the PNP Task Force Balao.

In an interview, Gen. Eugene Martin said they asked the CPA to present to them the house mates of Balao as they might help in the resolution of the case but to no avail.

Martin clarified the allegation that they are not doing something on the case, “not all developments and information on the Balao investigation should be divulged publicly.”

He added they expanded the Task Force Balao and “we are going as far as Sagada to get information that would help in solving the Balao case.”

Task Force Balao was created by PRO-COR to investigate the alleged abduction of Balao. Col. Fortunato Albas of the PRO-COR heads the said body.

Martin claimed the PNP should not be immediately linked to the abduction while the investigation is on-going.

“We took the statements of witnesses. There is nothing from their statements that directly identify the PNP and military as involved in taking Balao,” he added.

The witnesses accounted the alleged abductors claimed that Balao has many offenses, like drugs, and they are bringing him to Camp Dangwa, added Martin and asked, “Why announce that you belong to the PNP if you are to involve in such act of abduction?

Martin denied the abduction was the handiwork of the police.

Complete lie

Windell Bolinget, CPA secretary-general, belied that they are not cooperating.

He tagged Martin’s words are complete lie instead.

“We had been fully cooperating to them (PNP). In fact, we are the ones who presented the witnesses of the abduction to them and they (PNP) interviewed them afterwards,” explained Bolinget in an interview.

Bolinget added they went to meet with Col. Albas and Col. Jess Cangbay, head of the R2, intelligence unit of the PRO-COR, for several times for dialog and meetings.

Bolinget claimed it is the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that are not cooperative on the immediate resolution of the abduction.

He cited in the scene of the incident, a PNP living near the area failed to investigate immediately the abduction despite being informed by the residents.

“And we wonder on the slow development of the case despite the incident happened just a few meters from the PNP camp”, Bolinget pointed out.

He also pointed that despite the accounts of the witnesses, the PNP pushes for the angle of land and clan conflict as the reason for Balao’s abduction. # Arthur L. Allad-iw(NorDis)

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