- Category: Nation
08 Oct 2012
- Written by Marvyn N. Benaning / Contributor
THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has slammed the arrest of Benjamin Mendoza, an alleged consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) in the peace negotiations with the government.
Mendoza, 61, holds a Document of Identification issued in line with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig).
He was arrested at about midnight on Sunday in Quezon City together with his wife, Josephine Mendoza, and two other companions. Troops from the Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighters” Division combined with other military and police units arrested Mendoza.
“Mendoza is among the principal consultants for peace negotiations of the NDF representing the Southern Tagalog region,” the CPP said in a statement.
The Southern Luzon Command, who had military training in Libya, had a P5.6-million bounty on his head.
The Mendoza couple and two other companions were arrested at their safe house on Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City at around 12:15 a.m. Sunday.
The military said Mendoza was a member of the CPP Central Committee and secretary of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC). His wife, the militiary said, was an executive committee member of the STRPC.
“His arrest is a gross violation of the provisions of the Jasig which prohibit the arrest and other acts of persecution against peace personnel of either side,” the CPP statement said.
The Jasig was forged between the the NDF and the government in order to provide guarantees to their peace negotiators and consultants and create favorable conditions for the peace talks.
“In arresting Mendoza, the Aquino administration has again made a mockery of the peace negotiations between the NDF and the government,” said the CPP.
“It underscores the Aquino administration’s lack of seriousness to pursue the path of peace negotiations as a means of resolving the outstanding issues behind the raging civil war in the country,” the statement said.
Mendoza is the latest Jasig-identified peace consultant of the NDF arrested by since President Aquino assumed office since 2010, the CPP said.
At least a dozen peace consultants of the NDF continue to be held in military and police detention facilities, among them are Alan Jazmines, Renante Gamara, Eduardo Sarmiento, Eduardo Serrano and Tirso Alcantara.
(With Z. Solmerin)