NDF consultant arrested with no pending case | BICOL TODAY

NDF consultant arrested with no pending case

Lawyer Pastores with Baylosis and members of the Kilusang Mayo Uno when he filed bail in August 2016. Photo/text from Medium.com

By Inday Espina-Varona

The lawyers of the National Democratic Front (NDF) on Thursday (February 1) accused Philippine cops of planting evidence and filing trumped-up charges against an “ailing” consultant accused of heading the New People’s Army.

“Warrantless and baseless.” law Rachel F. Pastores, managing counsel of the Public Interest Law Center, described the arrest Wednesday of the 69-year old Rafael Baylosis and his companion, Roque P Guillermo (not Guillermo Roque as earlier reported by the police national capital region office).

Pastores, counsel for Baylosis, said the military had no warrant to show when it arrested the NDFP consultant for the political and constitutional reforms component of peace talks with the government.

There is no outstanding warrant of arrest for Baylosis, the lawyer stressed.

“Baylosis had just alighted from a tricycle and was walking along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, when six men pounced on him and whisked him off in a white van to PNP CIDG-NCR,” Pastores said in a statement.

Contrary to police claims, the lawyer said, “armed men who took him forcibly and violently did not read him his constitutional rights, or even present him with any charge sheet.”

“He was not allowed access to family, lawyers, or even to a phone, until the following morning,” Pastores noted. “In a worn-out attempt to legitimize his arrest, he and Guillermo now face fabricated, trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms. “

NPA chief?

A release from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) claimed Baylosis is “acting secretary” of the New People’s Army (NPA).

But national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said Baylosis is its former Vice President for Political and External Affairs and currently a senior member of the labor center’s advisory council.

Press reports from a few years back do cite Baylosis’ links with KMU. Reports said he was forced back underground due to arrest threats from what he called trumped-up charges.

He surfaced in August 2016 when Dutert and the NDF had just agreed to pursue peace talks and was granted bail by a Quezon City court.

Earlier, NDFP executive committee member Luis Jalandoni said Baylosis is covered by the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees and must be released immediately.

Discussing the warrantless arrest, Pastores said the display of brute force and circumvention of the law are hallmarks of abuse of power and tyranny.

President Rodrigo Duterte canceled peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) in November 2016 and has placed it and other underground leftist groups under the label “terrorist.”

He has also threatened legal “front” organizations with similar treatment.

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned the arrest of Baylosis.

Baylosis is KMU’s former Vice President for Political and External Affairs and currently a senior member of the labor center’s advisory council, the labor group said.

“He plays a crucial role in raising Filipino workers’ agenda in the peace talks especially on forging agreements on socio-economic reforms,” KMU said in a statement.

Militants from the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan protested in front the Camp Crame, national police headquarters, to demand the release of Baylosis.

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Inday Espina-Varona – Veteran, award-winning journalist, former chair of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and Knight Intl Fellow at Stanford

Posted by on February 2, 2018. Filed under Nation,Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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