Press Statement of NDFP Peace Consultant Roy Erecre, Political Prisoner
Issued on 14 May 2014 at Bohol Detention and Rehabilitation Center
Let me convey my gratitude for allowing me here to respond to baseless allegations and malicious innuendoes hurled at me by this government and its agents.
Immediately after abducting me in my hometown, this government has kept me incommunicado by transferring me from one detention cell to the next across miles of seas until finally jailing me in Bohol. In the crucial time following my abduction, government agents denied me the right to counsel, as they interrogated and threatened and manhandled me. While locked up from public scrutiny, I was accused of trumped up charges and misrepresented as guilty felon through trial by publicity.
I didn’t know then that having medical treatment at one’s family physician translates to “island-resort hopping” in military mind, and that either could constitute a crime. I and my aide were just surprised that morning of May 7, 2014, when intelligence operatives pounced on us while on our way for my follow-up check up for diabetes.
During my arrest, I was robbed of my personal belongings. Until now, my phone, journal, and flash drives haven’t been returned.
All these because of my being a consultant to the peace panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) in its peace negotiations with this government. It is a role I have taken since Cory Aquino opened peace overtures after the EDSA Revolt. Then and now, the duplicity of this government at feigning negotiations in order to gather intelligence information against its perceived enemies has reached scandalous heights.
Instead of respecting the agreements it signed with the NDF, this government is instead preoccupied in emasculating each one, especially the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). In fact, there are now 169 victims of extra-judicial killings nationwide since the beginning of Aquino’s presidency, as documented by KARAPATAN. This year alone, 19 human rights defenders were executed by government agents, including veteran people’s lawyer and comrade Noel Archival. There has also been continued crackdown on those involved in the NDF’s peace panel. Just weeks before, a similar, bare-faced attack on fellow NDF peace consultants Benito and Wilma Tiamzon was carried out in Cebu.
This government’s travesty of justice and of its own “due processes”, however, serves only as its own undoing. It only exposes the hopeless rottenness of the system this government represents and protects. It merely inflames the people’s revolutionary anger and collective desire for holistic change. It just pushes the people to be more determined in breaking free from the structures of oppression and exploitation.###