NPA consultant’s daughter slams PNP for tagging her, sis in Maasin attack
ILOILO CITY — An overseas-based daughter of an alleged rebel leader on Panay Island has decried her inclusion in the criminal complaints filed by police against suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who raided a police station in Iloilo last month.
The parents of two high school students who were also included in the complaint have taken action to clear their children’s names.
Mary Ilyich Bocala, 38, has condemned the Philippine National Police (PNP) for tagging her and her sister in the attack on the Maasin police station and releasing a photograph of her younger sister as among the rebels involved in the raid in Maasin town on June 18.
“It is malicious and irresponsible for the police to implicate me and my sister in that incident,” Bocala told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview on Monday.
Bocala is a daughter of Ma. Concepcion Araneta-Bocala, an alleged leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines in Panay who was temporarily freed from detention as a consultant in the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political and negotiating arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Bocala said she was at their house in Capiz during the incident and denied involvement in the rebel movement.
“I have been teaching pre-school children in China for 13 years until I transferred to Pakistan with my family,” she said.
She has a three-year-old daughter with her Pakistani husband.
The Iloilo Provincial Police Office last week filed criminal complaints against 60 alleged NPA rebels who overran the Maasin police station after disarming the police personnel, and putting them in handcuffs inside the detention cell.
The rebels then took 15 firearms including 11 M-16 rifles and four hand guns, ammunition and radios among others.
The complaints against the alleged rebels include robbery in band, serious illegal detention, direct assault upon agents in authority, tumults and other disturbances of public order and violation of the anti-carnapping law.
Police officials said the complaints were based on the accounts of the police personnel at the station and testimonies of witnesses.
Bocala was among the 20 respondents identified by names or assumed names. Forty others were unidentified.
A photograph of her sister was also among those released by the Philippine National Police. The photographs have been widely circulated in social media.
Photographs taken by Maasin residents and a video released by the NPA in Panay (https://www.youtube.com/
Bocala said she arrived in Manila on June 14 and in Capiz on June 17.
“I come home once or twice a year. I came home last month because my sister got married. And now this…,” she said.
She said the police have put her and her sister’s lives at risk by implicating them in the raid.
“Is it because we are children of parents who are active in the (rebel movement)? Do they want to scare us for being the children of these people?” Bocala said.
She said they have been consulting with lawyers on possible legal actions against the PNP for implicating them in the NPA raid.
The parents of two students of the Gines National High School in Alimodian town also denied that their children were involved in the raid.
The parents accompanied by a teacher met with Alimodian Mayor Geefre Alonsabe and the Alimodian police chief, Senior Insp. Ramon Coriana, to clear their names.
“They denied their children’s involvement but we told them that the complaint has already been filed and they can respond by filing counter-affidavits,” Coriana told the INQUIRER. SFM
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