The Philippine Star
DOJ wants NDF, CPP leaders back in jail
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has moved for the cancellation of temporary liberty granted by courts to detained National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leaders following their botched talks with the government.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has directed prosecutors handling criminal cases against NDF and CPP leaders to seek their return to detention following the suspension of the peace talks set last week in the Netherlands.
He said he specifically directed state prosecutors to file the necessary motions before the Manila and Taguig regional trial courts (RTC) for this purpose.
“I have given instructions to the prosecutors concerned to move for the revocation of the court orders, which allowed the NDF consultants and CPP leaders to post/ re-post bail and travel to the Netherlands or Norway, in view of the cancellation of the peace talks scheduled last week,” Guevarra revealed in a text message yesterday.
Once the courts grant the DOJ’s request, the NDF and CPP leaders would have to return to their respective detention cells. If they do not voluntarily follow the court’s order and violate the conditions set for their temporary release, the courts may order their arrest.
The DOJ chief said the government would decide on its next actions depending on developments in the peace talks, including the possibility of again moving for the grant of bail to the NDF and CPP leaders, should the need for it arise.
The DOJ had moved for the provisional freedom of NDF consultants Benito Tiamzon, Adelberto Silva, Rafael Baylosis, Randall Echanis, Vicente Ladlad and Alan Jazmines.
The Manila RTC granted the motion and allowed Tiamzon, Silva, Baylosis, Echanis and Ladlad to post bail for their multiple murder cases to be able to travel to the Netherlands for the informal peace talks and to Norway for the formal negotiations.
Jazmines, on the other hand, was granted provisional liberty again by the Taguig RTC.
Both courts, however, have set conditions for their temporary release and participation in the peace talks.
These included their personal appearance before the courts trying their cases.
The DOJ has noted that Tiamzon and Silva went into hiding when their bail was cancelled after the talks were aborted in November last year.
Baylosis, on the other hand, was arrested last February on what he had alleged were trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. His bail for the firearms charge was set at P100,000.
For his part, Jazmines was forced to return to his detention cell at Camp Bagong Diwa after the cancelled peace talks last year and after the government sought to declare more than 600 people, including rebel consultants, terrorists.
For the latest bail grant, the NDF consultants were supposed to be free only until the end of the informal talks, set for June 3 to 9 and June 22 to 28 in the Netherlands, and the succeeding formal negotiations in Oslo, Norway on June 27 to 30. They would have to return to the country within three days after the talks, the DOJ said.
But the resumption of the peace talks was cancelled reportedly to allow a more thorough engagement with the public on the issue.
Meanwhile, in a statement posted on NDF’s website yesterday, CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said there is no need for the NDF national council to make a decision to suspend, cancel or terminate its peace negotiations with the government.
“The (NDF) should simply allow Duterte to have the distinct dishonor of having sabotaged and terminated these negotiations so many times within a short period since May (last year),” Sison said.
Sison, however, added that the NDF can resume peace talks with the next administration.
“Inasmuch as Duterte is in danger of being ousted before 2022, the (NDF) can look forward to the resumption of peace negotiations and reaffirmation of agreements with a (government) under a new administration,” Sison said.
The CPP agreed with its founder, citing Duterte’s isolation from the people.
“In less than two years, (Duterte) has become isolated domestically and internationally. Thus, there is high probability that Duterte will not be able to complete his six-year term of office and will be forced out of Malacañang by way of a surge in anti-fascist protest actions or some other means. Far weaker than the Marcos dictatorship, the (Duterte) regime will likely be ousted in a shorter period of time,” the CPP said.
The CPP also claimed that the clamor to oust Duterte is growing everyday.