An alleged New People’ Army member facing charges for illegal possession of explosives and firearms in court has expressed her intention to turn state witness, Escalante City Prosecutor Ranela dela Fuente, said Monday, March 29.
Aiza Chavez Gamao was arrested at a police checkpoint in Barangay Jonobjonob, Escalante, with seven other suspected NPA members for possession of firearms, hand grenades and improvised explosives on Sept. 18, 2019.
Gamao, who is a mother of five, on her arrest was indentified as an officer of Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) – Negros.
After the presentation of the prosecution witnesses and a year of detention, Gamao has expressed her intention to tell all and testify for the Philippine government, said de la Fuente at a press conference attended by Army and police officials at the Social Hall of the provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.
De la Fuente said they are ensuring the security of Gamao.
“We are aware that Aiza’s life might be in danger that is why we decided to go public about it in order to protect her and her family,” she said.
“Prosecuting cases involving communists is very hard to do usually because of lack of witnesses. The prosecution of criminal cases involving communist terrorists in northern Negros has had a very dismissal record, most of the cases are dismissed for lack of witnesses,” she said.
Gamao’s opting to turn state witness is a breakthrough, de la Fuente said.
“Detention has made her think that the cause that she was fighting for was not for the common good, the doctrine was not meant to bring peace and change but destruction and unrest,” de la Fuente added.
A video of Gamao was shown at the press conference where she said she was turning state witness on her own free will.
She has voluntarily decided to become a witness of the state, but we cannot preempt her testimony before the court, Gamao’s lawyer, Charo Tupas Fajardo, said.
Mayor Melecio Yap, who was at the press conference, said the Escalante City government is prepared to help all those who wish to return to the mainstream of society with livelihood and other forms of assistance.*