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Detained ‘peace consultant’ denies being communist party official

/ 06:35 PM June 21, 2015

A suspected ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines arrested earlier this month in Cavite has denied being a top official of the CPP, as well as the charges lodged against him.

Adelberto Silva, a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, refuted allegations that he was picked as the new CPP secretary general.

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In a statement, Silva, currently detained at the CIDG in Camp Crame, also maintained that he had no involvement in the charges of murder, frustrated and attempted murder filed against him.

“I was made to appear as the new CPP secretary general so that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police could collect higher monetary reward or bounty for my arrest and for psywar operations,” the NDFP consultant said in a statement released through Karapatan.

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Silva, his wife Rossana Cabusao, and a companion, Isidro de Lima, were arrested on June 1 in Bacoor City, Cavite, by virtue of a warrant issued by a court in Hilongos, Leyte.

The military claimed that Silva took over the post vacated by Wilma Tiamzon, who was arrested with her husband Benito in Cebu in 2014.

Silva criticized the government for criminalising his work as a peace consultant of the NDFP in its peace negotiations with the government.

“They … resort to criminalizing the work that I do as a peace consultant, by arresting and detaining peace consultants like myself based on trumped up criminal charges and planted evidence,” he said.

Out of the 528 political prisoners in the Philippines, 17 are peace consultants, according to Silva, who has insisted that these arrests violated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the agreement signed by the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front, the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, under the peace process.

Silva added that contrary to the military’s claims, he has been holding a JASIG documentation of identification, with the assumed name Percival Rojo and with identification number ND 978229.

“I categorically deny any involvement in the trumped-up charges against me. All accusations hurled against me, my wife and my companion are false, malicious and baseless,” he added.

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Silva said he helped prepare the labor and economic agenda in the 1987 peace negotiations and in the current peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDFP.

He has been a trade union organizer since the Martial Law period while his wife is a researcher and consultant of the Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center and a founding member of Gabriela.

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TAGS: Adelberto Silva, arrest, Communist Guerillas, Communist Party of the Philippines, Crime, detention, JASIG, Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, Justice, law, National Democratic Front of the Philippines, New People's Army, News, peace consultant, peace process, Philippine Government, rebellion, Safe conduct pass, Wilma Tiamzon
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