NDFP condemns arrest of consultant

Philippine police nab top rebel peace process consultant

Baylosis was the first consultant to be rearrested since President Rodrigo Duterte canceled peace talks with communist rebels and declared the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing NPA as terrorist groups past year.

Philippine security officials have arrested a top consultant of the National Democratic Front rebel group, which led peace negotiations with the government previous year.

Progressive groups staged a protest in front of Camp Crame Thursday morning to call for the release of Baylosis.

Baylosis' companion, identified as Guillermo Roque, was also apprehended.

The arrests of Baylosis and Guerrero angered the NDF and its sympathizers.

Rafael Baylosis and his companion Guillermo Roque Jr. were arrested on Katipunan ave.in Quezon City yesterday, January 31, by combined elements of police and intelligence operatives and are now detained at Camp Crame, according to human rights alliance Karapatan.

He called on Duterte, a self-styled socialist, to respect and implement the JASIC, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and other binding peace agreements.

Based on a report by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Baylosis was arrested around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday along with alleged NPA member Guillermo Roque at Aurora Boulevard corner Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.


Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the safety and immunity guarantees were no longer in effect after Duterte scrapped the peace talks, telling human rights activists to challenge the arrest order in court.

Duterte ended intermittent peace talks with Maoist-led rebels in November and declared them "terrorists" because hostilities had continued during the negotiations, ordering security forces to go after guerrilla leaders.

Zarate described the arrest as "ill-advised" and can be interpreted as "harassment" against NDFP consultants and personnel.

Malacanan Palace reiterated, however, that the arrests of Baylosis and Guerrero were legal.

"If they think that their arrest, other than on the basis of JASIG, was illegal, then they should file habeas corpus because there is no martial law here in Luzon", Roque said.

NDFP senior adviser and former chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni said that President Duterte "must be held accountable for this trampling upon a valid peace agreement".

Government prosecutors ruled on Friday that a consultant for the left and his companion were "lawfully arrested" and there was enough evidence for them to stand trial for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Other high-profile NDF consultants who were released from detention by the government to participate in the talks were Benito and Wilma Tiamzon.

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