NDFP peace consultant Ariel Arbitrario (left) is flagged down in a Task Force Davao checkpoint on Monday morning, February 6, 2017. He was brought to the office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Davao City with two other companions including one Roderick Mamuyac, whom the Army said is wanted for murder. (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — An army official said that the reported apprehension of one of the consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines was not connected with the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte to rearrest Communist leaders freed by the government to join the peace talks last year.

In a text message, Brig. General Gilbert Gapay commander of the anti-terror unit Task Force Haribon said NDFP consultant Ariel Arbitrario was travelling with a person who has a standing warrant for murder.

“The incident this morning in our checkpoint in Sirawan, Toril was the apprehension of Roderick Mamuyac, a criminal wanted for murder,” Gapay told Davao Today.

“It so happened that Mamuyac was traveling with a certain Mr. Arbitrario,” he added.

Gapay said they were acting in response to an information they got from concerned citizens.

“It has nothing to do with the pronouncement of the President,” he said.

The Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said Mamuyac is facing criminal case number 20502 issued by Judge Virginia Tehano-Ang of the Regional Trial Court 11, Branch 1.

Major General Rafael C. Valencia, 10th ID commander said “operations are underway to target armed terror groups including the NPA.”

“We are guided by President Duterte’s pronouncements in dealing with the NPAs, who continue to attack civilian targets,” he said.

Around 9 am Monday, Arbitrario and two of his companions were flagged down at the Task Force Davao checkpoint in Barangay Sirawan, Toril.

As of 4 pm, human rights activists and church leaders are assisting Arbitrario who is undergoing processing at Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 11 for return warrant to Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province.

Jay Apiag, spokesperson of human rights group Karapatan said they brought Arbitrario’s document of identification under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees or JASIG and the court order issued for his temporary liberty.

Arbitrario joined the peace talks in Oslo, Norway last year, after his release in August.

Fidel Agcaoili, chair of the NDFP peace panel said in an earlier statement that all NDFP consultants are protected from rearrest under the JASIG. (davaotoday.com)

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