Reds demand De Vera release
MANILA, Philippines — Without acknowledging whether human rights victim Adora Faye de Vera is indeed a ranking party official, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Saturday demanded that she be released for “all her service to the cause of the oppressed and exploited masses.”
In a statement on Saturday, CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena said De Vera’s arrest was upon the orders of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“On orders of Marcos, the fascist running dogs went after Adora Faye to have her put back in jail. She is being punished by the reactionaries for refusing to give up on her dedication to serve the people,” he said.
“This is unjust and cruel punishment. For all her service to the cause of the oppressed and exploited masses, Adora Faye de Vera deserves to be free!” Valbuena added.
Valbuena, however, acknowledged that De Vera joined the armed revolution in the Bicol region after she was released in December 1977 from military detention where she suffered human rights violations.
16-year-old arrest order
“In the face of unchanged social and political conditions, Adora continued to dedicate herself to the cause of women’s liberation and the people’s national democratic movement,” Valbuena said.
“Over the past years, despite her injuries and weakened physical state, she defied all difficulties of travel and trekking long distances just to be with workers, peasants and other oppressed sectors of society,” he added.
De Vera was arrested on the strength of an arrest warrant issued by Judge Guilljie Delfin Lim of Branch 22 of the Iloilo City Regional Trial Court on March 10, 2006, or more than 16 years ago.
The case against De Vera and several ranking leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Panay region stemmed from the ambush of military personnel on Nov. 19, 2005, in Barangay Mambiranan in Calinog, Iloilo.
Nine soldiers were killed, while 18 others were wounded after a land mine planted by the rebels exploded, followed by an hour-long firefight.
The 66-year-old De Vera was arrested by a composite team led by intelligence agents from the Western Visayas regional police office in a house on Maalalahanin Street in Teacher’s Village East at 2:40 p.m. of Wednesday.
Raft of charges
De Vera was charged with the nonbailable offenses of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder with the use of explosives, particularly antipersonnel landmines, which were outlawed by international conventions on warfare.
She is also accused, in a separate criminal case, of rebellion.
Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., chief of the Philippine National Police, said De Vera was a staff officer of the general command of the CPP, its armed wing, NPA, and international front National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
She was also tagged as the secretary of the central front of the CPP-NPA regional committee in Panay.
He said De Vera was high enough in the order of battle that the Department of National Defense and Department of the Interior and Local Government placed a P2.5-million bounty on her head.
But there has been no word on who would get the bounty, which was among the highest for fugitive communist rebel leaders.
According to Police Lt. Col. Arnel Solis, spokesperson for the Western Visayas regional police office, De Vera was transferred to the Iloilo District Jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan town, at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, from the Calinog police station.
No family member or lawyer has visited her yet during her detention.
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