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Philippines: NDFP condemns arrests of Vicente Ladlad and other peace consultants

By staff

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from Fidel Agcaoilli, Chairperson, Negotiating Panel, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest possible terms the arrest of NDFP consultant Vicente Ladlad. According to initial reports, Ladlad was arrested with a couple, Alberto and Virginia Villamor, around midnight of November 8 at a house in Dona Tomasa, Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City.

Just two weeks ago, Ladlad’s wife Fides Lim reported being tailed by suspected state agents riding a silver Innova van with plate number TY 4585 as she left her house. A check with the Land Transportation Office revealed that the number is registered to a red Honda TMX motorcycle.

Ladlad is the third NDFP consultant actively participating in the peace talks to be arrested by the Duterte regime.

Less than a month ago, Adelberto Silva, a member of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms was arrested with five others in Sta. Cruz, Laguna on October 15 while conducting sectoral consultations.

A third consultant, Rafael Baylosis, was arrested along Katipunan Ave. in Quezon City on January 31.

Arresting officers planted explosives on all three consultants to justify their prolonged detention on non-bailable offenses.

Their arrests are flagrant violations of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Under the JASIG, Ladlad, Silva and Baylosis as duly accredited NDFP consultants publicly known to be involved in the peace negotiations should have been free from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive actions.

The NDFP demands their immediate release and the dropping of the trumped-up criminal charges against them to end their unjust detention.

The NDFP moreover demands the release of four other unjustly imprisoned NDFP consultants–Rommel Salinas and Ferdinand Castillo who are being held in BJMP facilities and Eduardo Sarmiento and Leopoldo Caloza who are incarcerated at the national penitentiary.

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