TASK Force Davao (TFD) vowed to apprehend any National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant despite the 30-day notice of termination of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) in accordance to the directive they received from the higher office.
"The guidelines that if we see them, we can arrest them anytime," TFD commander Colonel Erwin Bernard Neri told reporters on Thursday.
Jasig provides safety and immunity guarantees that protect the rights of negotiators, consultants, staffers, security and other personnel who participate in the government-NDFP peace negotiations.
Both parties must create a favorable atmosphere conducive to free discussion and free movement during the negotiations, and avert any incident that may jeopardize the peace negotiations based on the Jasig.
All the NDFP consultants were freed last August to attend the first round of peace talks in Oslo, Norway and were granted immunity from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation. But after the lifting of ceasefire, authorities could now arrest the communists.
President Rodrigo Duterte had previously urged law enforcers to arrest the NDFP consultant days after he lifted the ceasefire following the armed encounters that resulted to the death of soldiers and classified the left as "terrorist".
"Yung lahat nang nasa labas, kayong na-release, umuwi na kayo dito because you are wanted. And upon your arrival, I will arrest you and place you back in prison," Duterte said.
Last Monday, Ariel Arbitartio of the NDFP, along with Southern Mindanao Regional Command liaison officer Roderick Mamuyac and driver Rosario Sinday, were placed under police custody after they were held by the TFD at the Sirawan checkpoint in Toril, Davao City.
"So the Supreme Court imposes conditions for the grant of bail. The most important is that if the peace negotiation is cancelled, the bail bonds are also automatically cancelled. Thus, they can be arrested and recommitted to their detention facilities," Neri said.