CLAIMS​:

  • Ka Eric as “living proof” that Gen. Parlade’s accusations against persons they red-tagged like the members of the Makabayan, activist leaders of progressive groups the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), and Angela “Ella” Colmenares, are leaders or ranking members of the CPP-NPA.
  • Actress Angel Locsin is a supporter of the group who even gave money to them.
  • He surrendered to the military in 2017.
  • He was a member of the CPP-NPA for 27 years.
  • He was studied in UP Diliman in 1988, was a campus journalist and member of CEGP, recruited as member of the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) in September 1988 and became CPP member on December 10, 1988.
  • He was deployed by the CPP to the Visayas, worked as organizer of the CEGP in the University of the Philippine Visayas (UPV), the whole of Iloilo City, in Bacolod City, and in Negros, and later became organizer of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP).
  • He was deployed to the so-called National Operational Command (NOC) of the NPA in 2002 and worked there until March 2015.

FACTS​:

  • Mr. Celiz did not, and never studied, at UP Diliman. I know this because he was my classmate at West Visayas State University. In 1988, he was studying at Iloilo City High School (ICHS). He then studied at West Visayas State University (WVSU) from 1989 to 1994. There, he became the editor of Forum-Dimension. The official student publication of WVSU. Mr. Celiz WAS a friend, We were both student activists at WVSU.
  • From 1994 Celiz became a full-time activist until 2004. He was the spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Panay. (Bayan-Panay) and became its chairperson in 2000 until 2004.
  • In 2006, Jeffrey asked for my help. He told me his life was in danger from the military and thus wanted a sanctuary. I allowed him to stay in our house in Metro Manila for several days, and then in my friends’ house. I and my clients provided him allowance because he had no work and he had valid fears to be killed by the military as he was the “face” of the left in Panay Island particularly in Iloilo City at that time.
  • From 2006 until 2017, Jeffrey and I frequently met in Metro Manila. At those times, he was also staying in Tagaytay City at his uncle’s house or the vacation houses his uncle maintained. In February 2008, he permanently stayed in Tagaytay City to teach English language courses in a Korean school which I, Jeffrey, and his uncle helped put up.
  • In 2008, he told me he wanted to work abroad as waiter but he was afraid that there might be pending cases against him. So he sought the help of the late Raul Gonzales, then Secretary of Justice, under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to check whether there are cases filed against him. But he was not able to leave for abroad as he supposedly failed in table setting. In December 2008, he returned to Iloilo City.
  • In March 2009, he worked at Iloilo City Hall as political liaison officer of Mayor Jerry Treñas. In July 2009, Celiz was known to have worked at Northern Samar as community facilitator and organizer for a joint project of Masipag and Plan Philippines. In February 2010, he left the project and returned to Iloilo City again.
  • In August or September 2009, we met in Iloilo City. I was then seeking his advice for my plan to ran for the position of Municipal Mayor of my hometown in Antique. We then frequently met in Iloilo City. He also would go to our house in my hometown. At that time, Celiz also served as political strategists of then Iloilo City Vice-Mayor Jed Mabilog who was intending to ran for Mayor for the 2010 elections. He actively campaigned for Mabilog during the elections and also acted as panelist in the Comelec-sponsored candidates forum for candidates vying for the local elective posts in the city as well as the province of Iloilo.
  • In June 2010, after Mr. Mabilog won the mayoralty position of Iloilo City, Celiz was given a plum position in the city hall. He then was reportedly able to corner three lots, instead of only one, in Barangay So-ok, Arevalo District, and stayed there with his family. That earned him graft suits from his nemesis Manuel Mejorada before the Ombudsman.
  • Mayor Mabilog was reelected in 2013 and in 2016. Celiz remained at his service and later became his spokesperson.
  • In 2015, he was linked to the so-called Dragon Drug Syndicate of Spouses Melvin and Merriam Odicta of Iloilo City. It was public knowledge in Iloilo City that Spouses Odicta even gave him a car and an M16 rifle.
  • On August 7, 2016, President Duterte prominently mentioned Celiz’s name as a drug personality in Iloilo City and referred to him as “Bayan Congressman Celiz”. During that time, President Duterte also mentioned the name of Mayor Mabilog as drug protector in Iloilo City.
  • On August 29, 2016 Spouses Odicta were killed at Caticlan Jetty Port. Thereafter, Mr. Celiz went missing while Mayor Mabilog fled abroad.

TRUTH:

  • Mr. Celiz did not study in UP. When his lie was uncovered, he changed his tune and as “palusot” said that that was part of their strategy to hide his identity.
  • Was he a member of the NPA much more of their National Operational Command as he claimed?
  • How can he be a member of the NPA in 1994 to 2004 when he was an active student and mass leader of legal activists in Iloilo City? He was even the spokesperson and became the chairperson of Bayan Panay from the year 2000 to 2004. During those times, the military on several occasions tagged him as an NPA member. But he categorically denied that and said that he was not involved in any way in armed struggle.
  • From 2006 to 2008 he was either in Manila or in Tagaytay. He even taught English language course for Koreans in Tagaytay for eight (8) months from February 2008 to December 2008.
  • From March 2009 until June 2009, he also worked as political liaison officer of Mayor Treñas. Then in July 2009 until February 2010, he worked in Northern Samar as community field facilitator and organizer for Masipag and Plan Philippines joint project.
  • From August 2009 until March 2010, he was helping me prepare for the 2010 elections.
  • From March 2010 until the May 2010 elections, he was a panelist for Comelec-sponsored candidates forum/radio program and worked as the political strategist of then Vice-Mayor Mabilog who as running for Mayoralty position of Iloilo City at that time.
  • From July 2010 until June 2016, he was working at City Hall of Iloilo. He even acted as spokesperson of Mayor Mabilog.

These facts, which can easily be verified by official records, belie and destroy the allegations of Mr. Celiz and Gen. Parlade and that their claims are illogical, contrary to experience and common sense, much less meet universally-accepted standards of credible, competent and admissible evidence.

A shot at redemption?

After President Duterte linked him to drug activities in Iloilo City, Mr. Celiz suddenly disappeared from public view while Mayor Mabilog fled abroad. Mr. Celiz left his work at the city hall too. Since that time, no one in Iloilo City heard from him anymore.

Now Mr. Celiz reappeared suddenly as star witness of Gen. Parlade. Mr. Celiz is claiming that he is doing all of this to redeem his self. But facts do not lie.

Why only now Abyan Jepoy? Since 2008, when he “surrendered” to Secretary Gonzales, he could have already spilled the beans against the persons he was red-tagging now. He did he not do it then when red-tagging was already prevalent or even during the time of President Noynoy Aquino. Why only now at the time of Duterte?

Having closely known him for the longest time, my studied opinion is that he is afraid to be a victim of extra-judicial killing under President Duterte’s anti-drug war. In Pres. Duterte’s time he felt he is not safe anymore. Spouses Odicta were killed. Mayor Mabilog fled. So no one can protect him or offer sanctuary to him anymore.

My view is that Mr. Celiz sought the protection of the military in 2017 by lying or “selling” to them his supposed “extensive” knowledge of the operation of the left. He lied to the military in exchange for protection because he is a drug personality. And we all know that during this time of Duterte, known drug personalities, one by one, are killed.

So he was desperate and saw an opportunity for protection with the military.

There is no truth to his allegation that he is doing these things to redeem his self with the military as his redeemer. The truth of the matter is that he had no one to turn to and ask for help. That is why he tried his luck with the military and offered his wild imaginations of his supposed high-level involvement with the CPP-NPA to his military handlers and masters who are now his custodian and protectors.

And the latter gladly presented and are using him as their “living witness” of the alleged atrocities committed by the CPP-NPA and the alleged links of legal mass organizations and personalities.

Celiz is lying and is lying through his teeth.

Atty. Jobert I. Pahilga
Founding Member, NUPL
Executive Director, SENTRA

(Ed note: Jeffrey Celiz was part of the list of drug personalities President Rodrigo Duterte read out in his speech in a visit at the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao in August 7, 2016. Celiz was erroneously identified by Duterte as congressman, partylist, Panay chapter, despite not having been a legislator. Celiz then clarified he had ceased to hold any position at city hall starting February of that year.)

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