NDF seeks release of 63-year-old consultant | Inquirer News
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NDF seeks release of 63-year-old consultant

/ 11:40 PM May 08, 2012

ORMOC CITY—The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Monday condemned the arrest of Jaime Soledad, a consultant in peace negotiations with the government, and called for his release.

Soledad was arrested on April 2 in his house in Inopacan, Leyte province, to face murder and frustrated murder charges for allegedly killing two policemen and wounding another in 2004.

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Soledad and three others were accused of killing SPO2 Mario Udtohan and PO1 Michael Dagami on March 26, 2004, in Sitio Cambantog, Barangay Lake Danao, Ormoc City.

They were also tagged in the failed attempt on the life of PO1 Andres Olvida Botana.

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In a press release dated May 7, CPP confirmed that  Soledad, 63, is a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) in peace negotiations with the government.

The CPP maintained that Soledad’s second arrest for “trumped up charges of murder” violated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig).

“In rearresting Soledad, the Aquino regime has violated his rights stipulated in the Jasig against the arrest and detention of document holders,” said the CPP in a statement.

In an earlier interview, Soledad admitted he was arrested on March 25, 2008, to answer a case related to the discovery of a mass grave in Inopacan town, about 50 kilometers from Ormoc City.

But Soledad said he was released on July 25, 2011, together with 16 others, as a result of peace talks between the NDF and the government.

A community organizer, Reynante Gamara, who is also an NDF consultant in the peace talks, was arrested a month ago, the CPP said in its statement.

“The Aquino regime continues to make the resumption of peace negotiations difficult as it persists in violating the Jasig,” the CPP added.

The murder charges were filed by the families of Udtohan and Dagami while the frustrated murder case was filed by Botana himself.

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