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NDF hits arrest of top NPA leader

/ 11:06 AM August 02, 2015
The chief negotiator for the Philippines' communist insurgents, Luis Jalandoni, speaks during a Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) forum in Manila on September 3, 2011. Philippine communist rebels said September 3 they see stalled talks with Manila resuming with Norway's help, while suggesting a limited deal that they said would swiftly end the decades-long insurgency. The two sides held on-and-off talks for over 20 years but in a meeting brokered by Norway in February, both agreed to speed up negotiations in an attempt seal a peace accord by June 2012. AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS

The chief negotiator for the Philippines’ communist insurgents, Luis Jalandoni, speaks during a Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) forum in Manila on September 3, 2011. Jalandoni hit the government over the arrest of ‘peace consultant’ Maria Concepcion Araneta-Bocala. AFP PHOTO FILE

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.

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“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.”

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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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TAGS: Luis Jalandoni, Maria Concepcion Araneta-Bocala, NDF, NDFP, NPA, Panay Island
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