JASIG CONTINUES TO BE VIOLATED NDFP Consultants Concha Araneta-Bocala and Ernesto Lorenzo arrested

Dear friends, 
Please join us in our call to release National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants Maria Concepcion Araneta-Bocala and Ernesto Lorenzo and for the Government of the Philippines to respect the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and other signed agreements with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). 
Maria Concepcion “Concha” Araneta-Bocala, 64, was arrested on August 1, 2015 at her residence in Juntado Subdivision, Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City by joint forces of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDG) and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP). 
When she was arrested, Araneta-Bocala had with her the NDFP Document of Identification, a document issued to NDFP peace consultants, but this was simply dismissed by the arresting team.   

Araneta-Bocala is consultant for Visayas of the NDFP peace panel and a protected person under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed by the GPH and the NDFP. She carries with her Document of Identification No. ND978245 under the assumed name “Remi Estrella”, making her arrest a violation of the JASIG. 
The arrest was made based on warrants for two murder charges, one in 1987 and one in 1998. Araneta-Bocala was brought to the office of the CIDG at Camp Delgado, Iloilo City accompanied by her nephew Joseph Jed Cariaga and her aide Aneline Soldevilla. Later in the day, Cariaga and Soldevilla decided to leave for home but were prevented by the CIDG because they were required to undergo investigation.

At around 7 p.m. of the same day, the three detainees were brought to the Molo Police station. They were subjected to inquest proceedings at around 8 p.m. with Iloilo City Assistant Prosecutor Leonel Dapat as inquest prosecutor. Araneta-Bocala was charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition for a hand grenade, a 45-caliber pistol, a 22-caliber pistol and several rounds of ammunition, which the police claimed they found in her possession when she was arrested. 
Cariaga and Soldevilla were spuriously charged with obstruction of justice. They were subsequently detained at the Molo Police Station lock-up cell. The following Monday, on August 3, Cariaga and Soldevilla were released after they posted bail of Php 6,000.00 each.
On August 6, 2015, Araneta-Bocala was brought to Kalibo, Aklan against her will and without knowledge of her family and counsel, allegedly on the basis of an order of the Aklan RTC Branch 2, which issued the warrant for her arrest. She was brought for detention at the BJMP Jail, Brgy. Nalook, Kalibo, Aklan where she remains at present. 
Many ailments beset the 64-year old Araneta-Bocala—from weak lungs because of a history of pneumonia, gastritis, ulcer, recurring lumbar pains due to scoliosis, recurring pain in her left eye which was operated on previously, anemia, vertigo, goiter, and recurring numbness on her legs and feet. 
The Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defence listed a Php 7.8 million reward for the capture of Araneta-Bocala. 
Ernesto Lorenzo was at the IT Center in Gilmore, Quezon City on July 20, 2015 when he was nabbed by joint elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and members of the military intelligence group. He was on the escalator when two men grabbed him. He shouted to catch the public’s attention but he was immediately whisked out of the building and into a van. He was brought to PNP General Headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City. Ernesto Lorenzo was previously issued an NDFP Document of Identification No. ND 978229 under the assumed name ‘Lean Martinez’. 

Almost at the same time, at about 2 p.m., Lorenzo's wife, Joyce Latayan, was also arrested in their house in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. Latayan was outside the house to meet her daughter Angelica Joyce, 7, who was coming home from school when she noticed two men, in civilian clothes, inside their compound. Other plain-clothed men, who identified themselves as CIDG, went straight to the second floor of their house. When they came down, they were already carrying bags and a box containing weapons, which the police later used as “evidence”.  

Lorenzo’s arrest was based on a warrant for destructive arson filed way back in 2010 in Lucena City. Lorenzo is among the “ST 72” or the 72 activists and leaders of people’s organizations in Southern Tagalog falsely charged with criminal offenses by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG). UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Prof. Philip Alston strongly recommended the abolition of the IALAG and for the halt to the filing of trumped up charges against activists. 

The search warrant against Latayan came from the Cabanatuan City Regional Trial Court. On the basis of “planted” evidence, Latayan was charged with illegal possession firearms and explosives but was later dismissed at the Prosecutor’s office in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. Lorenzo, however, was charged with the same case, using the same “planted evidence,” mysteriously from a far away court in another province. Latayan also face charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives in Mauban, Quezon filed in 2008. 

Lorenzo spent more than a month at the holding area of the Anti-Organized Crime Unit of the CIDG inside Camp Crame, where jail authorities claim there is no food provision for detainees. He was only given leftover food from the rations of CIDG police. On August 12, Lorenzo was transferred to the Special Intensive Care Area-1 of the Metro Manila District Jail at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City while Latayan is still detained at the Major Crime Intensive Unit in Camp Crame. 

Know more about the JASIG and other GPH-NDFP peace agreements through:

Recommended Action:


Send letters, emails or fax messages to call the BS Aquino government to:


1.       Immediately release NDFP consultants Ma. Concepcion Araneta-Bocala and Ernesto Lorenzo, and Joyce Latayan;

2.       Respect the Joint Agreement on Immunity and Security Guarantees (JASIG) and other signed agreements with the NDFP and resume the peace talks;

3.       Stop the arrests of peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines;

4.       Revoke the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense Joint Order 14-2012 or the “reward system” against suspected members and leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front;

5.       Investigate the human rights violations against Araneta-Bocala, Lorenzo and Latayan as the Philippine government is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe, promote and protect all of these instruments’ provisions, as well as to defend the country’s sovereignty as mandated by the Philippine Constitution; and

6.       Release all detained consultants of the NDFP and all political prisoners.



You may send your communications to:

1.       H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III

President of the Republic of the Philippines

Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

E-mail: op@president.gov.ph


2.       Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,

E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City

Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488

Fax:+63(2) 911 6213

Email: osnd@philonline.com


3.       Atty. Leila De Lima

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila, Philippines

Direct Line 521-1908 

Trunkline  523-84-81 loc.211/214

Fax: (+632) 523-9548

Email:  lmdelima@doj.gov.ph, lmdelima.doj@gmail.com, lmdelima.doj2@gmail.com


4.       Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex 

Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 928-5655, (+632) 926-6188

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

E-mail: comsec@chr.gov.ph