The Philippine Star

DOJ wants NDF, CPP leaders back in jail

- By EDU PUNAY With Jose Rodel Clapano

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.

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