NDF hits arrest of top NPA leader
ILOILO CITY – The National Democratic Front (NDFP) of the Philippines on Sunday condemned the arrest of a top rebel leader on Panay Island, insisting that she is a consultant in the peace talks with the government.
The NDFP said the arrest of Maria Concepcion “Concha” Araneta-Bocala in Iloilo City on Saturday was illegal.
“She is a peace consultant of the NDFP for the Visayas. She has been issued Document of Identification No. ND978245 under assumed name Remi Estrella,” said Luis Jalandoni, chair of the NDFP negotiating panel, said in a statement emailed to the Inquirer.
Jalandoni added, “Her illegal arrest is another flagrant violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). The Aquino regime is answerable for this shameful disrespect for its solemn obligation to abide by a binding peace agreement.”
The NDFP, an umbrella organization of underground rebel groups including the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army, demanded the ‘immediate release” of Bocala, allegedly the secretary of the CPP’s Panay Regional Committee.
Jalandoni said Bocala was a “highly valued peace consultant,” citing her role in the peace talks with the Corazon Aquino administration in 1986 to 1987.
He downplayed the effect of Bocala’s arrest on the rebel movement.
“As experience has shown, the revolutionary movement is able to replace arrested leaders and comrades, and continue the revolutionary struggle. Those arrested have trained many others to take up the responsibilities of carrying forward the struggle for national and social revolution,” he said.
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