Captured CPP-NPA leader not covered by JASIG—peace office
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The government peace panel is insisting that Maria Concepcion Araneta-Bocala, the alleged secretary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in Panay who was recently captured in Iloilo City, is not covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG), as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and human rights groups claimed.
“We refute the claim that Bocala was illegally arrested,” said a statement released by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
“Her arrest on August 1 in Iloilo City was a law enforcement operation based on an outstanding warrant (CC#1491) issued by the Regional Trial Court 6, Branch 2 in Kalibo, Aklan, for murder charges,” the statement added.
Since Bocala is not covered by JASIG, there is no violation of the agreement, according to OPAPP.
“As we have consistently held, JASIG is operative only for those personalities of the CPP, the NDFP and the New People’s Army (NPA) who are using their real names and those who are recognized by the government as participants in the talks,” said the government panel statement. “Due to the failed JASIG verification process in 2011, JASIG is no longer operative for those using aliases or pseudonyms.”
The NDFP has been insisting that Araneta-Bocala, who assumed the name Remi Estrella, is an NDFP consultant covered by the JASIG.
But the government panel said the failure of the validation mechanism that kept the records of JASIG-covered NDFP and GPH panel members in The Hague, made it impossible to verify whether Araneta-Bocala and the alias Remi Estrella are one and the same person.
Bocala was arrested along with her nephew and an aide by police and military operatives at a rented house in Barangay Calumpang, Iloilo city on Saturday, August 1. Reports said that Bocala, who will turn 65 this month, is suffering from ailments including diabetes and pneumonia. She is being held at Camp Martin Delgado, the regional police headquarters in Iloilo City.
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