By RAYMUND VILLANUEVA
High profile National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randy Felix P. Malayao was gunned to death inside a bus in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya at 2:30 this morning.
A source close to the victim’s family called Kodao to break the news.
Malayao’s ride was at a bus stop when the gunman reportedly climbed aboard, approached the sleeping victim and shot him. He was killed on the spot.
Before President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled peace talks with the NDFP, Malayao attended formal peace negotiations in Europe as a consultant from Cagayan Valley. He also acted as one of the spokespersons of the NDFP Negotiating Panel in Europe.
Police recovered his document of identification, proving he was covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig), an agreement signed by both parties providing protection to all those involved in the peace talks.
Abroad and in the Philippines, Malayao represented the NDFP in peace forums, along with Government of the Republic of the Philippines negotiators such as Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Atty. Angela Librado Trinidad and others.
Unlike most other NDFP peace consultants, Malayao had no criminal charges before government courts, which allowed him to freely move around the country to attend peace-related activities.
Malayao was a former political prisoner who was abducted and heavily tortured under the Gloria M. Arroyo regime.
He spent more than four years in jails in Cagayan and Isabela provinces and was freed after he had been acquitted of charges against him.
Bello served as his one-time legal counsel during his court trials.
In his student days, Malayao was credited for reinvigorating student organizations throughout the Visayas.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in Fisheries degree from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas-Miag-Ao in the early 1990s.
In his senior year, he was editor in chief of Ang Mangingisda, the official student publication of his college.
As an NDFP peace consultant, Malayao is a holder of a NDFP-GRP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees identification card that should have given him immunity from arrest, harassment and attacks.