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It had been reported originally by the Philippine media, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), that NDFP peace consultant Benjamin Mendoza had been illegally arrested and detained by the AFP. The supposed arrest and detainment of Mendoza was in violation of previous agreements that were signed by the Philippine government, such as JASIG and CARHRIHL.
However, it is now being reported by Ronalyn V. Olea in Bulatlat, and confirmed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), that the man arrested, along with his companion, was not Mendoza but an innocent security guard mistaken for Mendoza by AFP military intelligence.
In a statement sent to Bulatlat.com through email, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said Mendoza was not arrested. The man presented as Mendoza, according to the NDFP, is a security guard assigned at the ACP Compound in Eastwood, Quezon City.
According to the NDFP, Rolly M. Panesa, 48, his common-law wife Maritez Chioco, their son Conierey and his wife, were arrested by combined elements of the AFP’s 2nd Infantry Division, military intelligence agencies, and various units of the AFP and PNP in front of the Ministop convenience store at the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Anonas Street in Quezon City on October 5 at around 11:30 p.m.
Interviewed by lawyers of the National Union of People’s Lawyers(NUPL), Panesa, a resident of F. Castillo Street, Project 4, Quezon City, said he is not aware of any pendingcases or arrest warrants against him.
By originally acting on false intelligence and disregarding due process and the legal system of the Philippines the AFP has now incarcerated two innocent civilians with no known direct connection or involvement in the armed conflict in the Philippines.
In a statement by the CPP on the NDFP website, the CPP blasts the AFP for its brazen human rights violations and in trying to cover up their mistakes by still trying to tag Panesa as Mendoza. This, despite the fact that the roles, duties, and responsibilities carried out by Mendoza are still being carried out by him and with other various sources within the underground movement confirming that Mendoza is still active, and indeed, not in military custody.
“To cover up its blunder, AFP Southern Luzon Commander Maj. Gen. Alan Luga subsequently claimed in a statement that Panesa was “Benjamin Mendoza” whom he described as a leader of the revolutionary movement in Southern Tagalog. Charges of rebellion were thereupon filed against Panesa,” said the CPP.
“The CPP denounces the AFP for the illegal arrest of Panesa and expresses support for his demand to be immediately released and recompensed for the grave injustice and violations of his and his family’s rights. The CPP further supports his demand that all trumped-up charges filed against him be withdrawn.”
“In its desperation to oppose the people’s revolutionary struggles,” said the CPP, “the Aquino regime’s stepped-up Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression has resulted in an increasing number of human rights violations against civilians.”
“The CPP further said that the military snafu regarding Panesa exposes anew the Aquino regime’s outright contempt for the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and its lack of serious intent to respect other outstanding agreements and comply with its obligations,” said the CPP.
“This is further underscored by the continuing detention of at least a dozen NDFP consultants including Alan Jazmines, Tirso Alcantara, Renante Gamara, Eduardo Serrano, Eduardo Sarmiento and Jaime Soledad, many of whom were arrested under the Aquino regime.”