There is a video on YouTube that features Jeffrey Celiz, the so-called “Ka Eric” touted as the “star witness” of the National Task Fore to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, in which he accuses National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Director and past Chairman Nestor Burgos of the Philippine Daily Inquirer of being an active member of the underground machinery of the Communist Party of the Philippines in Panay.

We do not dispute the fact that Celiz, who is from Iloilo City, knows Nestor, who is also based in the Western Visayas city. Nor will we even dispute the fact that they met each other as young campus journalists.

But it is preposterous for Celiz to falsely claim that Nestor is “part right now of the regional propaganda machinery of the Regional Party Committee in Panay…” and of the “underground movement that attempts to overthrow our government.”

We can only wonder what threats and enticements have convinced this erstwhile drug-listed personality to parrot the fictions handed him, liberally sprinkled with his own concoctions, most likely to get in his handlers’ good graces. In fact, in the video, he all but confesses that he and his handlers do not have any evidence against those he slanders when he insists on the validity of public vilification, or what he calls the “court of public opinion.”

But while Celiz’s fantastic tales are despicable in themselves, even more despicable is how the Armed Forces and the National Police flout the very laws they are supposed to uphold by brandishing this fraud to red-tag people against whom they have absolutely no evidence to prosecute.

In doing so, they brazenly trample on the basic rights of Nestor and the others Celiz slanders, including that which this liar so disdainfully dismisses but which is among the cornerstones of the democracy he purports to fight for, the right to due process, and put the lives of Nestor and everyone else Celiz slanders in danger.

You can be sure that we and the community of independent Filipino journalists will not take this sitting down. There will be consequences.
National Directorate