Farmers condemn arrest of NDFP consultant

Farmers condemn arrest of NDFP consultant

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NEWS RELEASE

February 1, 2018

Free all political prisoners, resume peace talks and resolve root causes of poverty

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) condemns the illegal arrest and detention of National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Rafael Baylosis and his companion Guillermo Roque Jr. yesterday by combined elements of PNP, ISAFP, CIDG and QCPD based on false accusations and trumped-up charges.

Baylosis is a holder of a Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) pass and has no active warrant at the time of his arrest. He was arrested days before the scheduled launching of the NDFP’s Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) full draft.

He actively participated in several rounds of formal peace talks and bilateral meetings between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the NDFP. Baylosis, 68, is consultant of the NDFP for the Political and Constitutional Reforms. He has heart ailments.

“Illegal and warrantless arrests of activists intensified after the AFP and the PNP activated the Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA) last October. The IACLAC is responsible for the trumped-up charges against government critics and other so-called enemies of the state. It is now being used in full-force for Duterte’s crackdown,” Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP.

As of December 31, 2017, there were 486 political prisoners and 145 of whom were arrested under Duterte with six peace talks consultants and JASIG-protected personalities. Majority of the political prisoners are farmers and peasant leaders.

The peasant group also demanded for the resumption of the peace negotiations.

“Duterte and the GRP Peace Panel abandoned the peace talks in the middle of important discussions on agrarian reform and national industrialization. The NDFP continued with its work and finished its version of the draft CASER. Initial meetings on the political and constitutional reforms were also held but Duterte chose to scuttle the peace talks to go on a full madman rampage,” Ramos said.