P467M bounty against CPP leaders, source of military corruption and abuses—CPP

November 14, 2012

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The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today strongly protested the issuance of a P466.8 million bounty for the capture of 235 people whom the Aquino regime claims to be leaders of the CPP, saying this will only lead to more corruption in the military, illegal arrests, torture and other grave human rights abuses.

The reward system was contained in Joint Order 14-2012 issued yesterday by the Department of National Defense and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Among the names listed in the DND-DILG order are leaders of the CPP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) who are known to be actively involved in peace negotiations with the Aquino regime.

The CPP said the reward system “will only be used by military and police officials to pocket millions of pesos and commit grave violations of human rights.” It cited the recent case of 48-year old civilian security guard Rolly Panesa who was arrested together with his wife, son and daughter-in-law last October 5 in Quezon City. Panesa works at the ACP Compound in Eastwood and resides in Project 4, Quezon City.

On October 7, Panesa’s arrest was public announced by officials of the AFP’s 2nd ID who declared that they had arrested “Benjamin Mendoza” whom the AFP claimed was a 61-year old leading cadre of the CPP in Southern Tagalog and for whose arrest the DND-DILG had posted a P5 million reward. Panesa was severely tortured in efforts to make him confess to being “Benjamin Mendoza.”

“For sure, the P5-million reward money has been used by Maj. Gen. Alan Luga to feather his nest. It was Luga who announced the so-called capture of ‘Mendoza’ right before his scheduled retirement.”

“We can anticipate more cases of false arrests of supposed CPP leaders, especially now that they have further raised the reward money,” added the CPP.

The CPP further asserted that the issuance of such bounties against revolutionary leaders seeks to demonize and criminalize the revolutionary cause and works against achieving a political resolution to the armed conflict through peace negotiations."

The CPP said the reissuance of the reward system violates the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) which prohibits either party to subject to surveillance, arrest or criminal persecution personnel of either side who serve as officials, consultants or staff members in peace negotiations.

“The Aquino regime talks of peace but acts in a contrary manner, when it regards as criminals those who advocate and advance the struggle for national sovereignty, social justice, land reform and national industrialization and other fundamental demands of the Filipino people,” said the CPP.

“What are peace negotiations to the Aquino regime but a meaningless decorative piece when it demonizes and criminalizes the act of waging revolution and armed resistance against the oppressive and exploitative system,” added the CPP.

The CPP asserted that “It is a grave insult to the oppressed masses of workers and peasants that those who advance their cause for land reform, higher wages, decent jobs, lower prices and fight for national and social liberation are lined up with notorious criminals and fascists,” pointing out that the DND and DILG also issued rewards for the capture of Gen. Jovito Palparan, who is wanted for extrajudicial killings, abductions and other fascist crimes.

“More and more, the Aquino regime is intensifying its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression, saturating rural communities with its armed forces, resulting in grave and widespread cases of human rights abuses ranging from massacres to extrajudicial killings, illegal abductions and torture, indiscriminate firing and other terror tactics.”