MANILA, Philippines — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Friday described as “persecution” the conviction of peace consultant Concha Araneta over a murder committed 47 years ago.
CPP spokesperson Marco Valbuena condemns the conviction of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant who represented Panay province in 2016 peace talks.
“The conviction of Araneta is part of the continuing persecution through lawfare against Ka Concha and other NDFP peace consultants to prevent them from performing their tasks in promoting the people’s aspirations for national freedom, genuine democracy and social justice as basis for a just and lasting peace,” the party spokesperson said in a statement.
Araneta’s conviction was promulgated last June 28 by the Regional Trial Court in Taguig.
She was sentenced with reclusion perpetua after she was found guilty of murder over the death of Metudio Inisa on Sept. 18, 1975, in Sitio Agbanuod, Barangay Panipiason, Madalag, Aklan.
The promulgation of the judgment was done in absentia on June 28 after Araneta did not appear before the court since the suspension of the peace negotiations.
Valbuena also pointed out that the peace consultant’s conviction was done without a lawyer’s representation.
“The conviction against Araneta was promulgated without legal representation by her lawyer, who could no longer effectively perform his work after she was forced to go underground in the face of threats to her life by military and police forces,” Valbuena said.
Araneta is still being sought by the police and the military after she disappeared following the collapse of the peace talks.