The Task Force Free Rolly Panesa composed of different religious and faith based group and individuals deplore the continuous illegal detention and violation of basic rights of Rolly Panesa and other political detainees under Aquino’s watch. These violations, despite serious protests from victims, families and various human rights advocates, continue to perpetuate under Oplan Bayanihan. Such violations disregard his dignity as a human being, as one created in the image of God.
It will be remembered that on October 5, 2012, Rolly and 3 other members of his family including his wife were abducted by elements of 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army and Philippine National Police along Aurora Blvd. Cubao, Quezon City. They were handcuffed, blindfolded and interrogated. Rolly suffered torment and inhumane treatment at the hands of his military captors. To this day, they insist that he is Benjamin Mendoza, a high ranking communist leader who has a P5.6M bounty upon his capture. They are detaining an innocent man who must be released immediately.
Based on the documents and testimonies presented by the Panesa family, Rolly, 48 years old, who hails from Cadiz City, Negros Occidental and working as a security guard since 1995 bore no semblance to Benjamin Mendoza except a mole at the nape of his neck.
Under Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan, the target to render communist’s insurgency irrelevant poses grave threat to the general public as more and more civilians are accounted victims. There are more than 300 political detainees, 137 victims of extra-judicial killings, and tens of thousands of forced evacuees among many other violations. On his third year in office, Aquino’s score on human rights unveils what he truly meant by “peace and development”.
The Voice of God is Calling, Do You Hear His Cry? In the face of this threat to life and dignity, church people are called to speak out and defend the rights, to be a neighbour especially to the least and marginalized. One with conviction, we commit to the continuing aspirations of many other human rights and peace advocates – Free Rolly Panesa and other political detainees; Stop human rights violations!