By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA — Another consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) was arrested by elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Jan. 17 in Cabuyao, Laguna
In a statement sent through email, the NDFP said the arrest of Reynaldo Hugo is in gross violation of the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) of 1995 . Under Jasig, consultants, staff and other participants in the GPH-NDFP peace talks “shall be immune from surveillance, arrest, prosecution, trial, punitive action, harassment, discrimination or any liabilities due to exposure of identity and role in the peace negotiations.”
According to the NDFP, Hugo has been issued NDFP Document of Identification ND978239 under the assumed name Orgel Dimaano in accordance with the JASIG. He has also been issued a corresponding Letter of Acknowledgment signed by then GRP negotiating panel chairman Silvestre H. Bello III.
The NDFP said the “continuous disrespect shown by the Aquino regime for the Jasig, the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) of 1998, and other binding bilateral peace agreements seriously prejudices the peace negotiations between the Aquino government and the NDFP.”
The CARHRIHL is the first of the four substantive agenda item in the GPH-NDFP peace talks. Signed by both parties in 1998, the agreement upholds human rights and the international humanitarian law.
Barely two weeks ago, another NDFP consultant, Rogelio Posadas, was arrested by the police in Barangay Punao, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
Like Hugo, Posadas is an accredited person under Jasig with NDFP Identification Number ND978313 under the assumed name “Angel Jose.”
The NDFP said the Aquino government’s refusal to comply with its obligations contracted in peace negotiations with the NDFP “puts into serious question its credibility.”
“Who will believe in a government that does not honor agreements and contracts it has solemnly entered into?” the NDFP said.