Cops ready to arrest Concha

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

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ILOILO City – The police is ready to arrest Maria Concepcion “Concha” Araneta Bocala, consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) currently out on bail.

After terminating the peace talks with the communists on Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the arrest of all NDFP consultants he released last year.

According to Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) spokesperson Superintendent Gilbert Gorero, however, legal processes will be followed.

There should be an arrest warrant, he stressed.

Four courts in this city, Aklan and Antique hearing the criminal charges filed against Bocala allowed her to post bail in August last year so she could join the peace talks that resumed in Oslo, Norway. They could cancel her bail bonds.

“We have to follow legal procedures. We have to respect the constitutional rights of every person. If there is an arrest warrant we will arrest her,” said Gorero. 

Bocala faces four charges – a murder charge at the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 2 in Kalibo, Aklan; a rebellion charge at RTC, Branch 33; illegal possession of firearms and explosives at RTC, Branch 23 in Iloilo City; and another rebellion case in Antique.

Fidel Agcaoili, chairperson of the NDFP negotiating panel, said on Sunday that all NDFP consultants were protected from rearrest because they were covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

In an interview two months ago, Bocala acknowledged that her release from detention was “conditional” and would last only until the end of the peace talks.

“What will happen to me if the peace talks do not succeed? Are they going to put me back in jail? Nothing is really certain,” she asked.

Late Saturday night in Davao City, Duterte ordered the Philippine delegation to the peace negotiations to “fold up the tents and come home.”

This came a day after he lifted the government’s unilateral ceasefire in response to the New People’s Army’s (NPA) decision to lift its own truce effective Feb. 10.

But in a statement, NDF legal consultant Edre Olalia said the JASIG also stated that the peace talks can only be terminated upon written notice given by one party to the other.

Such notice would only take effect 30 days from its receipt, Olalia added.

The government has not yet written a notice to the NDF. According to Olalia, this meant that the peace talks have not been officially terminated.

An alumna of Assumption Iloilo (elementary and high school), Bocala was a Mass Communications college student at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City when then President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law on Sept. 21, 1972. She went underground and joined the NPA.

In 1986 after the EDSA People Power Revolution, Bocala surfaced and joined the peace talks. She met with then President Corazon Aquino at Assumption Iloilo. But she went underground again when the peace talks collapsed.

Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division cornered Bocala on Aug. 1, 2015 in a rented house at Juntado Subdivision, Barangay Calumpang, Molo district.

She had a bounty of P7.8 million, based on the joint Reward List No. 14-2012 of the Department of National Defense and Department of Interior and Local Government dated Nov. 12, 2012./PN






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