Red leader faces charges on firearms, explosives
ILOILO CITY—Add illegal possession of firearms and explosives to the charges filed against high-ranking communist leader Ma. Concepcion Araneta-Bocala.
Bocala, 64, spokesperson of the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDF) on Panay Island, has been detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in the capital town of Kalibo in Aklan province following her arrest on Aug. 1 in Iloilo City.
She is facing a murder charge in Aklan and a rebellion case in neighboring Antique province.
Senior Supt. Peter Naboye, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Western Visayas, said a separate criminal complaint of illegal possession of firearms and explosives had been filed against Bocala at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 38 in Iloilo.
The charges stemmed from the police recovery of a fragmentation grenade, a .45 cal. handgun, a .22 cal. pistol and assorted ammunition when Bocala was arrested at a rented house in the city’s Molo District.
Bocala has claimed that the firearms, bullets and grenade were “planted” by the raiding team, an allegation denied by police officials.
Naboye said the police would request the court presided by Judge Juana Judita Panigbatan-Nafarrete to order the detention of Bocala at the provincial jail of Iloilo in Pototan town during her trial because the facility has more personnel and is more secure.
“She is a high-risk and high-profile detainee so we will request for her transfer here,” he told the Inquirer.
The NDF has demanded the release of Bocala, alleged head of the Panay Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines, saying she is a consultant in the Visayas for the peace negotiations.
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