By Simon "Ka Filiw" Naogsan
Spokesperson, Cordillera Peoples' Democratic Front
The Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front (CPDF) calls for the immediate release of the ailing Jovencio Balweg and his wife Carmen. According to reports, Jovencio is undergoing medication and in fact just came from a medical checkup when he was accosted and arrested by elements of the PNP Regional Intelligence (R2).
Likewise, Carmen should be released to care for Jovencio and because she is also undergoing medical treatment for various illnesses.
The CPDF holds the government responsible should anything happen to the couple while under detention given their medical situation. Continued incarceration would not be conducive to the health situation of Jovencio. It just simply exposes further the desperation of GMA and her fascist generals to squeeze whatever propaganda value they can make out of it and prop up their hallucination to crush the armed revolution before 2010.
The deceptive psychological warfare tactics behind the series of misreports regarding the couple's arrest need to be exposed. For one, their son was with Jovencio when they were accosted and arrested at the Satellite market of Camp 7 in Baguio by the R2 operatives.
The Cordillera people remain vigilant and continue to heighten its militant and armed struggle despite tactical setback caused by the arrest of Jovencio. His continued incarceration derails any serious effort for genuine peace negotiation by the Arroyo regime. The CPDF challenge the Arroyo regime and his AFP/PNP generals to reciprocate the humane treatment it has accorded captured soldiers and paramilitary elements during tactical offensives launched by the NPA such as in Sallapadan and Boliney in Abra, Mankayan in Benguet and Tadian in Mountain Province in the distant past. Those wounded were given first aid and released subsequently as hors de combat by the New People's Army.
The capture of one or two can not deter the aspiration for self determination of the Cordillera people alongside the oppressed Filipino masses in realizing national democracy, lasting peace and prosperity.