DAVAO CITY, Philippines — One of the consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines was arrested at a military checkpoint here Monday morning following the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte to rearrest freed communist leaders who participated in the peace talks.
Jay Apiag, Karapatan Southern Mindanao spokesperson said Ariel Arbitrario and two of his companions were flagged down at the Task Force Davao checkpoint in Barangay Sirawan, Toril around 9 am.
Apiag told Davao Today that they were taken to the TFD camp in Sirawan.
“We are here waiting outside the TFD camp to get a clearance from the TFD to enter. We are also waiting for our lawyers,” he said in a telephone interview.
Apiag said they brought Arbitrario’s “legal documents, including the court order and the copy of the JASIG.”
He said Arbitrario is on bail following his release to join the peace negotiations between the government and the NDFP last year.
Apiag added that Arbitrario should be under court jurisdiction.
Fidel Agcaoili, chair of the NDFP peace panel said in an earlier statement that all NDFP consultants are protected from rearrest under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, which the Philippine government peace panel reaffirmed in the latest round of talks last month in Rome, Italy.
Last year on February 16, Arbitrario was arrested in Barangay Madaum, Tagum City by joint forces of the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), police operatives from Tagum and Compostela Valley Provincial Police office.
The Army alleged Arbitrario as the front secretary of Guerrilla Front 2 of the NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC). (davaotoday.com)