Ka Concha conviction shows continuing persecution of peace consultants
The Communist Party of the Philippines condemns the conviction by the reactionary courts against National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Concha Araneta. Araneta, who represents the Panay region, participated in peace negotiations in 2016.
According to news reports, Araneta’s conviction was promulgated last June 28 by the Regional Trial Court in Taguig. She was supposedly found guilty of murder in a case in Aklan province that happened on September 18, 1975, close to 50 years ago, that was revived and pursued only to legally harass Araneta.
The conviction against Araneta was promulgated without legal representation by her lawyer, who could no longer effectively perform his work after she was forced to go underground in the face of threats to her life by military and police forces.
Without basis, Araneta was “designated as terrorist” by the Duterte government in April last year. She has been the subject of constant state repression. A month after her “designation,” police forces extrajudicially killed her husband, Reynaldo Bocala and his companion, in their residence in Pavia, Iloilo.
The conviction of Araneta is part of the continuing persecution through lawfare against Ka Concha and other NDFP peace consultants to prevent them from performing their tasks in promoting the people’s aspirations for national freedom, genuine democracy and social justice as basis for a just and lasting peace.
Since peace negotiations were treacherously terminated by the Duterte regime in 2017, at least ten NDFP personnel designated as peace consultants were murdered including Randall Echanis, Pedro Codaste, Julius Giron, Eugenia Magpantay, Jorge Madlos, Menardo Villanueva and others. At least 14 peace consultants have been arrested since, 12 of whom remain imprisoned on the basis of trumped up charges.