Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Solgen seeks courts on arrest NDF consultants

SOLICITOR General Jose Calida filed Friday before different courts a manifestation seeking to recommit the National Democratic Front (NDF) peace negotiators to their respective detention facilities amid the "eventual" termination of the peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

"Due to the eventual termination of the peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway and the cancellation of the backch1annel talks in the Netherlands, the NDF Consultants who wer1e granted conditional release should be recommitted and their respective bonds should likewise be canceled," Calida in a statement said.

The government last July announced the cancellation of the backchannel talks with the CPP/NDF, following alleged attacks by its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA) against the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in Arakan, North Cotabato.

President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly threatened the CPP of terminating the peace talks if its armed wing will not stop attacking government forces.

Last Wednesday, he announced his plans to formally terminate the peace negotiations after the CPP ordered the NPA to launch attacks against the military enforcing martial law in Mindanao.

"Give me a piece of paper. I will write it for you. Give it to them," Duterte said.

"If there's nothing to expect in the talks, so why are we continue talking? What do you intend to accomplish? It only ends up at name-calling pati shouting. Don't waste my time, I have so many things to do," he added.

In the manifestation, Calida pointed out that the Supreme Court (SC) in its earlier ruling said that the political prisoners who have been ordered released last August 2016 should be re-arrested once the peace negotiations are terminated.

"The Supreme Court, in several Resolutions, laid down the conditions for the provisional liberty of NDF personalities Satur Ocampo, Randall Echanis and Vicente Ladlad. One of the conditions provides that once the peace negotiations are terminated, their bonds are deemed automatically canceled," Calida said.

"Since all judicial decisions form part of the law of the land, the courts can now issue recommitment orders as these NDF consultants are similarly situated to Echanis and Ladlad," he added.

Calida said Duterte's declaration that the CPP is an enemy of the State signifies that "any peace negotiations with them have been rendered inutile and therefore must officially end."

Twenty-one NDF personalities, accused of various criminal cases pending before different trial courts in the country have been previously granted conditional release by the trial courts to enable them to participate in the peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway.

Among them were spouses Benito and Wilma Tiamzon and former CPP Secretary General Adelberto Selva. (SunStar Philippines)
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