CPP denounces willful “mistake” in arrest of Pampanga senior citizens

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the Philippine National Police for the “willful mistaken arrest” of two innocent elderly civilians in Mexico, Pampanga last week.

The CPP disputed the claims of the police that Ms. Lourdes Quioc, 64, a community midwife and local church worker, and her cousin Reynaldo Ingal, 63, a retired company driver, in San Antonio, Mexico, are CPP leaders Eugenia Magpantay and Agaton Topacio.

The CPP said in insisting that the innocent elderly civilians they have arrested and detained are key leaders of the CPP, PNP Central Luzon Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta and his retinue of corrupt police officers are only after the multimillion-peso bounties.

“This is clearly no longer a case of having made a stupid mistake in arresting the wrong people,” said the CPP. “Based on news reports, Ms. Quioc is a known personality in their community, being a midwife, while her cousin, Mr. Ingal, has employment records as a former driver for the National Power Corporation in Bataan province.”

“Rudimentary intelligence work would have shown the police operatives the unmistakable identities of Mr. Ingal and Ms. Quioc and their standing in their community, and that they are not the supposed CPP leaders Magpantay and Topacio,” said the CPP.

“The malicious intent of the police in arresting Mr. Ingal and Ms. Quioc is clearly seen in the PNP’s refusal to even take a look into the identification papers and senior citizen cards being presented by their relatives, or listen to the statements of the village council and town mayor vouching for their identities,” added the CPP.

“Likewise, now that they are in custody, a simple comparison of the Mr. Ingal and Ms. Quioc’s fingerprints with those of Topacio and Magpantay whose fingerprints as well as photographs are on record due to previous arrests would have been enough to establish the detainees’ identities.”

“But even such basic procedures have not been conducted to enable the money-grabbing policemen to keep these hapless victims in jail long enough for them to be able to collect the bounties.”

“Mr. Reynadlo Ingal and Ms. Lourdes Quioc are the latest victims of ‘huli-reward’ or the police and military practice of arresting innocent civilians and portraying them as top CPP leaders with bounties, in order to bag the multimillion peso reward monies,” pointed out the CPP. “This is nothing but a glorified version of ‘huli-dap.’” (police practice of making false arrests in order to earn bribe money)

The CPP called on human rights advocates and lawyers’ groups to help defend Mr. Ingal and Ms. Quioc, and seek their release from unjust detention.

“Such corrupt practice of using the police and military to pocket multimillion pesos in so-called ‘reward money’ has become prevalent since the Aquino regime came up with Joint Order 14-2012 issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense.”

Last August, the military effected the arrest of Eduardo Almores Esteban in Jaro, Iloilo, and claimed that he was a CPP leader with a P5.8-million reward. Esteban was, in fact, a retired CPP officer who has been living quietly with his family for almost a decade.

“In 2012, the military arrested and tortured security guard Rolando Panesa whom the AFP insisted was a ‘Benjamin Mendoza,’ allegedly the secretary of the CPP committee in the Southern Tagalog region. Panesa’s release was ordered by the courts around a year later after his identity was established, but only after officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Southern Luzon Command had claimed around PhP10 million in reward money.”

The CPP also cited the 2012 arrest and detention of Oligario Sebas, a local resident of Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, whom the AFP claimed to be “Filemon Mendrez” who is included in the Aquino bounty list with a P5.8-million reward.

“The CPP further questions the police and military operation to hunt down Ms. Magpantay and Mr. Topacio, both of whom are known personalities of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, who are holders of Documents of Identification and protected by the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as consultants in the peace talks,” said the CPP.