By Joey Natividad
NAGA CITY (BicolTodaY.com/09-May-2012) – The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on Tuesday pressed for the independent investigation on the unsolved killing of former NDFP political consultant Sotero LLamas, former head of the Bicol rebel movement in the 1980s and 90s, while it condemns in the strongest terms the re-arrest of NDFP Consultant Jaime Soledad last May 2.
Llamas, already freed from captivity and held under JASIG protection as NDFP political consultant in the peace process, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Tabaco City in 2006. The assassination was unsolved and no suspects were arrested.
“By this blatant and gross violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the Aquino government is again showing its contempt for a basic peace agreement,” said the NDFP in an emailed statement.
NDFP Consultant Jaime Soledad was released on July 25, 2011 after more than three years in prison on trumped up criminal charges filed against him in March 2008. His arrest and detention, then was a gross violation of the JASIG. His release was among those which the NDFP had demanded in the peace talks held in January and February 2011, said Luis Jalandoni in the statement.
Jalandoni is the chairperson in the NDFP Negotiating Panel in the peace talks with the Philippine Government. Several times, progress on the peace talks has gotten stalled over the refusal by the government to release key leaders of the NDFP under government detention.
Soledad’s rearrest and the arrest of another NDFP Consultant, Renante Gamara, last April 3 are additional obstacles placed by the Aquino regime to the resumption of formal peace talks.
“The NDFP continues to firmly demand the release of over 350 political prisoners who are unjustly imprisoned in violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), and the NDFP consultants still detained in violation of the JASIG,” said Jalandoni.
The Netherlands-based group also demanded for the independent investigation of the killing of NDFP Political Consultant Sotero Llamas, and the enforced disappearances of Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid, Rogelio Calubad and other NDFP consultants and staff. [BicolToday.com]
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