State forces arrest 2 NDF consultants
Two consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and three others were successively arrrested by the US-Duterte regime last March.
In a joint operation, elements of the 202nd IBde and the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested Fr. Frank Fernandez, 71, NDF-Negros spokesperson, his wife Cleofe Lagtapon, 66 and Geann Perez, 20 last March 25 in Liliw, Laguna.
The three were charged with fabricated cases of illegal possesion of firearms and explosives on top of murder charges against Fernandez and Lagtapon. Fernandez is suffering from severe heart and lung ailments while Lagtapon has leukemia, the reason for their stay in the area.
Meanwhile, Renante Gamara, another NDF consultant, and his companion, Fr. Arturo Joseph Balagat, were arrested in Imus, Cavite last March 20. They were brought to Camp General Pantaleon Garcia in Imus, Cavite then transfered to Camp Bagond Diwa in Taguig City after several days. They were charged with illegal possesion of firearms. Last March 23, the court dropped the charges against them.
The NDFP negotiating panel was not surprised with Rodrigo Duterte’s cancellation of appointments of the GRP negotiating panel headed by Silvestre Bello III last March 18. Duterte has since unilaterally ended the peace negotiations with NDFP when it released Proclamation 360 last November 23, 2018.
According to Jose Maria Sison, Duterte showed no interest in the negotiations and instead outrightly used the armed conflict as a pretext to justify martial law in Mindanao, and railroad the charter change to realize his ambition to become a fascist dictator.
Seven NDFP consultants have already been illegaly arrested, six of whom are still in detention.