AFP: Legal processes will be followed before arrest of NDFP members out on bail
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is monitoring the movements of communist leaders out on bail so they could easily arrest them once bail has been revoked following legal proceedings, according to Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office.
In a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo on Friday, Arevalo said: “We are pursuing our efforts to locate them so that when the process has already been observed we will be able to execute or implement the arrest.”
He stressed that the AFP would, as always, be working in tandem with the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Arevalo said the AFP would let legal proceedings – that is, the filing and hearing of a petition for proscription by the Department of Justice before a regional trial court – run its course before authorities could arrest some 21 consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), who were released by the government last year in time for the peace talks.
On Tuesday, Dec. 5, Duterte signed a proclamation declaring the CPP and NPA as terrorist groups. Anyone proven to be financing these groups would also be held liable under the law, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
The proclamation, which was made in accordance with the Human Security Act (Republic Act No. 10168), allowed Justice Secretary Vitialiano Aguirre II to file a formal petition before a regional trial court to declare the CPP-NPA as terrorist groups.
However, Arevalo emphasized that communists could be arrested without a warrant if they would be caught in the act of committing the crime.
“Let us make it very clear: The rules of court provide na ang isang tao na gagawa pa lang ng krimen, kasalukuyan, pagkatapos gumawa ng krimen [that a person who is about to commit the crime, committing the crime, or who just committed the crime], can be arrested immediately even a warrant of arrest,” he said.
“So in this case, kung mayroon miyembro ng [if there’s a member of the] NPA na papasok dun sa tatlong circumstances na ‘yon [who would be covered by those circumstances] we’re going to arrest them,” he added. /atm