Cites massive corruption, illegal drugs and gambling syndicates in gov’t
For being a victim of injustice by the government institution he served with utmost dedication for 28 years, he finally made “the most difficult decision” in his entire life by joining the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
By Karl G. Ombion
SOMEWHERE in SOUTHERN NEGROS – For being a victim of injustice by the government institution he served with utmost dedication for 28 years, he finally made “the most difficult decision” in his entire life by joining the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
SPO2 Joel Escobido Geollegue, 49, deputy provincial officer of the 701st PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) based in Negros Oriental, told a group of reporters in a press conference June 5 that he had decided to defect to the CPP-NPA two months ago saying, “I am a victim of injustice. I was framed up for a crime I did not commit, and there is no foreseeable justice for my case within the system.”
The CIDG defector was escorted by a platoon-size custodial force of the CPP-NPA regional operational command – Boy Gatmaitan Command – at the news conference held in a forested mountain lair of the guerrillas in southern Negros.
Police authorities in Negros have reportedly ordered a manhunt on Geollegue after learning of his defection.
Geollegue’s defection stemmed from his being implicated by his own colleagues in the police service to the reported robbery-holdup of a certain Terry Lim by an unknown group last 1993 at Crossing Relis, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan town, 85 kms south of Bacolod City.
He denied the accusation saying that at the time of the incident he was in San Carlos City investigating a car theft involving the Hannel Development Corporation. He said that the alleged sole witness who implicated him to the robbery-holdup was an alleged notorious criminal, Romeo Villar aka Onyot.
Geollegue said another policeman and the former police chief of Himamaylan were behind Villar because he was their man handling a ring of illegal drug operations in the area. Complainant Terry Lim, Geollegue added, is also a close relative of one of the two police officers.
Geollegue, who was serving as CIDG deputy provincial officer before his defection, also doubted the holdup incident saying “the whole circumstances were vague. All I learned later was they allegedly withdrew P30,000 from PNB Kabankalan, although they later made it appear that it was P300,000,” he added.
He earned the ire of the two police officers, he said, for exposing them to the national headquarters over their alleged illegal drug protection activities.
The case against him dragged on for almost 10 years in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Himamaylan under then Judge Jose Aguirre Jr. He appealed the case with the Court of Appeals (CA) in 2003 but was denied. Last March, the Supreme Court (SC) affirmed the CA’s decision and sentenced him to six-year imprisonment.
Asked why he did not appeal the SC decision, Geollegue said “I have lost my trust in the government’s justice system. I have also doubted the integrity and sincerity of my colleagues, officials and the higher command in the service.”
Several times, he said, he reported to the higher headquarters cases of corruption, protection racket, syndicates among his colleagues, and those he had close association with, but “none was ever heeded.” “So how can I entrust my life, much more my quest for justice, in the hands of the institution run by crooks and syndicate?” he said.
Asked how he reconciled his formerly staunch anti-communist stand, Geollegue said, “Things change. Just like former Brig. Gen. Raymundo Jarque, whom I consider my inspiration in making this decision.” Jarque, former commander of the Negros Island Command, defected to the NPA in 1995 to evade arrest for alleged trumped-up charges filed by a wealthy family of Pulupandan town. He became military consultant to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). His case with the Sandigan Bayan was later dismissed for lack of merit.
“Joining the CPP-NPA,” Geollegue told reporters, “is the most difficult decision I’ve made in my entire life, because it means leaving my wife and my three little kids behind, and risking my life. But I have no other option but to seek justice with the revolutionary movement.”
He said he did not regret joining the revolutionary movement adding, “I believe it has higher and correct sense of justice than with the corrupt and rotten government I served for 28 years.”
“Today, the Macapagal-Arroyo regime is blatantly corrupt and rotten, probably worse than its predecessors,” he said. “The reports of juetengate, involving people up to the Malacañang, are true.”
Geollegue also said some top PNP and military officers in the region coddle illegal drugs and other syndicates. He said he will expose their names, network and mode of operations in due time.
Geollegue was born June 6, 1956 to a poor peasant family in Himamaylan. He quit high school due to poverty. He decided to left for Manila to venture for work. While on the boat, he befriended a military trainee who encouraged him to join the military service.
After a stint with the Philippine military in the late 1970s, he joined the Philippine Constabulary in the 1980s where he was assigned in different parts of Visayas and Mindanao including the Davao Metrodiscom Security Unit. In the 1990s he was assigned with the Integrated National Police’s (formerly PC) Regional Security Unit (RSU) 7. He was later deployed with the CIDG Occidental Negros and later Oriental Negros just before he defected.
In the press conference, Ka Cesar, head of the NPA custodial force, said “the defection of Geollegue only proved the correctness of the revolutionary cause of the CPP-NPA-NDF, the bankruptcy of the ruling system, and the rapid isolation of the US-Macapagal Arroyo regime”.
Ka Cesar said that “Geollegue is a victim of injustice of the reactionary court run by corrupt justices and syndicates, strongly influenced by influential and despotic landlords and corrupt police and military officers”.
Like most Filipinos exploited by the “rotten ruling system,” Ka Cesar said, “Geollegue has realized the need to fight the system that breeds corruption, plunder of people’s resources, protection racket for big drug syndicates, landgrabbing…and the like,”
“His defection is an honorable decision,” Ka Cesar added.
Ka Cesar also said that “the NPA is open and prepared to accept any member of the AFP, PNP, and CAFGU who plan to defect to the revolutionary movement.” Bulatlat