AFP mistakenly arrests civilian, labels and persecutes him as NDFP leader

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
October 11, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for illegaly arresting Rolly M. Panesa based on mistaken identity and violating his civil liberties, falsely identifying him as one of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultants in the peace negotiations and filing trumped-up rebellion charges to cover up its blunder.

At around 11:30 p.m. of October 5, combined elements of the AFP's 2nd ID, military intelligence agencies and various units of the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) abducted Panesa together with his common-law wife Maritez Chioco, their son Conierey and his wife in front of the Ministop convenience store at the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Anonas St. in Quezon City.

Interviewed by attorneys from the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL), Panesa, 48 years old, identified himself as a security guard under Megaforce Security currently assigned at the ACP Compound in Eastwood, Quezon City. He is a resident of F. Castillo St., Project 4, Q.C. According to Panesa, he is not aware of any pending cases or arrest warrants against him.

"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 Information Bureau has also received reports from the Southern Tagalog Regional Committee that the NDFP consultant referred to by the AFP as Benjamin Mendoza continues to carry out his responsibilities and tasks in the NDFP, particularly in the peace process.

"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 The CPP further supports his demand that all trumped-up charges filed against him be withdrawn."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."