Dr. Maria Natividad Castro, alias Dok, is an active member, recruiter, trainer and fundraiser of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
This was confirmed by former CPP-NPA-NDF member Gleceria Balangiao, liaison officer of the Rural Missionary of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Region, during a virtual press briefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday.
Balangiao, alias Ka Inday, told the press that she personally met Castro several times between 2006 and 2009 during meetings and trainings of NPA fighters on “first aid” treatment for wounded terrorists.
She said she first met the lady doctor in Cagayan de Oro where Castro works and gives trainings in community-based areas controlled by the NPA.
Balangiao added that Castro is also into “recruiting health professionals” to join the terrorist movement as “medics”.
She said Castro has the innate ability to lead and organize. As finance officer then, she saw how Castro took part in preparing “project proposals” on how to carry out trainings for first aiders and to seek international funding.
“She is good at making project proposals being used in the community-based trainings and solicitation of funds abroad,” Balanguiao, who joined the terrorist organization after graduating from college, revealed in Filipino.
She, too, witnessed how the funds from a European Union organization were being channeled to the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs).
“We received funds, and these are being used to support that needs of the group,” she said in Filipino, with the main scheme of “60-40” sharing.
This means 60 percent of the fund will go to the “partidong komunista” (communist party) while 40 percent of the money will go to the unit that will implement the project.
Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, the Task Force’s spokesperson on Sectoral Concerns, said Castro is an enemy of the state, as far as the NTF-ELCAC is concerned, explaining that the doctor “is not a simple member of a terrorist organization — which is a serious crime in and of itself, but actually “a Central Committee member” of the CPP-NPA-NDF – “an organization that has been designated by the Anti Terrorism Council as a terrorist organization.”
Maj. Dorothy Tumulak, Public Information Officer of Police Regional Office 13 (Caraga), on the other hand, belied reports of left-leaning groups that Castro was not properly treated when she was arrested.