A security guard, his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law were arrested by military intelligence agents and were falsely tagged as rebel leaders.
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – On October 6, the military announced that two alleged high-ranking communist leaders were arrested in Quezon City.
Colonel Generoso Bolina, Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command spokesman, identified one of the suspects as Benjamin Mendoza, alias Lorens, Kenji, and Dave, the secretary of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STPRC) and member of the CPP’s Central Committee, according to a report by Sunstar.com.
Another report quoted the military as saying that Mendoza and his companion, Josephine Mendoza, aka Luisa, said to be an executive committee member of the STRPC, and two unidentified members, were arrested at 12:15 a.m. by joint elements of the 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army, other AFP units and the Philippine National Police (PNP) along Aurora Boulevard.
The information turned out to be false. 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, Project4, Quezon City, said he is not aware of any pendingcases 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 then filed against Panesa.
The Benjamin Mendoza being referred to by the AFP in its statement to the media continues to carry out his responsibilities and tasks in the NDFP, particularly in the peace process, according to the NDFP.
“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 statement said.
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
“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,” the CPP said.