The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said that the Joint Order 14-2012 issued by the Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) last year has already resulted in the second case of “mistaken identity” and subjected innocent civilians to human rights abuses.
Citing reports by human rights groups in Negros, the CPP said the 302nd Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) arrested and detained Oligario Sebas, a local resident of Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, and claimed that he was “Filemon Mendrez,” whom the AFP alleges is one of the leaders of the revolutionary movement in Negros. According to the AFP, Mendrez is included in the DND/DILG list which has offered a P5.2 million bounty for his arrest.
Joint Order 14-2012, a secret list issued and maintained by the DND and DILG supposedly contains the names of 235 alleged leaders of the revolutionary movement and offers reward money totaling P467 million for their arrest. “It is a virtual Order of Battle of the AFP made sweeter for its generals and officers because of the increased bounty money,” pointed out the CPP.
The CPP cited a similar case of “mistaken identity” in the arrest last October of Rolly Panesa, a security guard whom the AFP claimed to be “Benjamin Mendoza,” allegedly a ranking leader of the revolutionary movement in Southern Tagalog. The military offered a a P5 million reward for Mendoza’s arrest. Panesa was severely tortured upon his arrest, and is still under detention.
“AFP generals and officials are pocketing millions of pesos over these fake arrests that are victimizing innocent civilians and subjecting them to human rights abuses,” said the CPP.
“Aquino insists on keeping the contents of Joint Order 14-2012 secret despite demands for disclosure by lawyers, political parties and progressive organizations that fear that the list includes the names of legal activists critical of the Aquino government,” said the CPP. “In doing so, Aquino has given the go-signal to government security forces to make indiscriminate arrests and other human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings which can simply be justified as compliance with Joint Order 14-2012.”