NDF consultant arrested – Karapatan
A National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant and his companion were arrested on Wednesday, a human rights group said.
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said that Rafael Baylosis and his companion, Roque Guillermo Jr., were arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) in Quezon City.
Baylosis and Guillermo are currently detained at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
According to a police report, authorities arrested Baylosis and Guillermo at around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday while “conducting casing and surveillance” at Aurora Boulevard corner Katipunan Avenue after receiving information about “armed and suspicious-looking” persons in the area.
The report said that the 69-year-old Baylosis and Guillermo “sensed the presence” of the authorities in the area and “tried to run.”
“This prompted the detectives to conduct interdiction as they are visible with short firearms tucked on their sides,” the report said.
The two yielded two .45-caliber guns, 14 ammos, two magazines, cellphones, and assorted documents, according to authorities.
Joint forces from the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), Regional Intelligence Division-NCR Police Office, District Intelligence Division-Manila Police District and Quezon City Police District, and PNP Intelligence Group conducted the operation.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. condemned the arrest, saying it was in violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
“He must be immediately released. The trumped-up charges must stop. Rather than persecute peace consultants, Duterte should resume peace talks on the most important substantive agenda,” Reyes said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“Ka Raffy has worked on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms as a means to address the roots of the armed conflict. This includes land reform and national industrialization,” he added.
The arrest came days after President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would go after Left-leaning groups once the court declares the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist groups.
Mr. Duterte has accused activist groups as “legal fronts” of the communist rebels.
READ: Duterte vows to crush NPA and CPP’s all ‘legal fronts’
In November 2017, Duterte issued Proclamation No. 360, declaring the termination of the peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA-NDF.
More than a week later, Duterte issued Proclamation No. 374, declaring the CPP-NPA as terrorist groups. /kga
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