NDFP hits arrest of NPA rebel in Mindoro
LUCENA CITY, Philippines – An official of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemned the arrest of a New People’s Army (NPA) leader in Oriental Mindoro province, saying the police were sabotaging the peace talks between the government and communist rebels.
Ka Ma. Patricia Andal, NDFP-Mindoro spokesperson, said Jeffrey delos Reyes was “fulfilling his tasks for the peace talks” when police arrested him on Sept. 19. She did not elaborate on Delos Reyes’ supposed role in the peace talks.
“The arrest of Delos Reyes… is an incontrovertible truth that… the police are insincere toward the ongoing peace talks,” Andal said in a statement on Thursday.
On Aug. 26, the NDFP and government representatives agreed to an indefinite cessation of armed hostilities after the first round of formal peace talks held in Oslo, Norway.
The Suspension of Offensive Police Operations (SOPO) against communist rebels, however, does not cover normal police functions, such as serving of arrest warrants.
A report from the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) regional police office said Delos Reyes, 30, of Calapan City, was arrested by a police and military team in Barangay Sampaguita in Naujan town on Sept. 19.
Police said the suspect was served with a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Harry Jaminola of the Regional Trial Court Branch 41, in Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, for a murder case.
Delos Reyes, police said, has two other standing arrest warrants for frustrated and attempted murder in Occidental Mindoro province.
Ka Higom Maragang, spokesperson of the NPA’s Lucio de Guzman Command operating on Mindoro island, called the criminal cases as “trumped-up charges.”
“This battle against the… government is legitimate because we fight for genuine social change against the exploitation and oppression of the people by the ruling class. If this is not legitimate, the (government) should have not faced us in the peace negotiations,” Maragang said.
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