The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the arrest of Jaime “Ka Diego” Padilla, spokesperson of the New People’s Army-Southern Tagalog (Melito Glor Command).
Ka Diego, who is in his senior years, is suffering from heart problems and various physical ailments. With the material support and various assistance of friends and allies of the CPP and NPA, he was brought to Manila to undergo diagnostics and medical treatment. He was confined in a Manila hospital when he was arrested last night.
The CPP demands the immediate release of Ka Diego and his three companions and the dropping of all trumped-up criminal charges filed against him to prolong his detention. He must be given full access to his lawyers as well as doctors and medical care services. The Party demands that he be accorded full respect which he deserve as a revolutionary activist and humble servant of the people.
Indeed, the toiling masses and people of Southern Tagalog consider the arrest of Ka Diego as a setback to their revolutionary cause. In the past three years, the NPA spokesperson has ably represented the NPA forces in Southern Tagalog in his interaction with the media and the public in general. He has consistently exposed the disinformation and fake news churned out by Duterte’s factory of lies. He has exposed and denounced as well the grave crimes and rights abuses perpetrated by the AFP against the people of Southern Tagalog.
The AFP has long wanted to silence Ka Diego. His arrest, however, will fail to suppress the truth about the oppression and the struggles of toiling masses of Southern Tagalog against the tyranny and state terrorism of the Duterte regime, the grave exploitation of workers and peasants, and the imperialist and big corporate plunder of the rich resources of the region.