(UPDATED) - National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Rafael Baylosis was rearrested on Wednesday, January 31 during a joint operation in Quezon City.
Baylosis, a member of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Group on political and constitutional reforms, is the first NDFP consultant rearrested after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the cancellation of the peace talks with the communist rebels and the rearrest of their consultants.
Based on a report by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Baylosis was arrested around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday along with alleged NPA member Guillermo Roque at Aurora Boulevard corner Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.
Authorities allegedly recovered from them two calibre .45 pistols, 14 ammunition and two magazines.
NDFP negotiating panel legal counsel Edre Olalia said Baylosis is being held at the CIDG detention center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
In a statement, the NDFP condemned what they claimed to be the “illegal arrest and detention” of Baylosis and Roque and demanded their immediate release.
“This illegal arrest and detention of NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosis is a flagrant violation of the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG, 1995),” said Luis Jalandoni, member of the NDFP National Executive Committee.
“President Duterte must be held accountable for this trampling upon a valid peace agreement that assures all consultants and those participating in peace negotiations immunity from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive action,” he added.
The NDFP called on all peace-loving people and organizations to mount a strong campaign demanding the immediate release of the two.
“They should also demand that President Duterte respect and implement the JASIG, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL, 1998) and other binding peace agreements,” said Jalandoni.
“President Duterte must not be allowed to kill and destroy the peace negotiations,” he added.
Duterte ordered in December last year the rearrest of NDFP consultants after he issued Proclamation 360 which formally terminated the peace talks with the NDFP, political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Duterte also issued a separate proclamation branding the CPP and its armed wing, NPA, as terrorists.
Baylosis is facing multiple murder charges over his alleged involvement in the Inopacan, Leyte massacre in 1985.
On Wednesday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Edgard Arevalo ensured that the police and the military are working together to locate the NDFP consultants for their rearrest.
Among the other NDFP consultants who were given temporary liberty were NPA secretary generals Benito and Wilma Tiamzon who were arrested in Cebu in 2014. (SunStar Philippines)