Friday, March 22, 2019

Holders of safe conduct pass can now be arrested —AFP spokesman

From GMA News (Mar 22, 2019): Holders of safe conduct pass can now be arrested —AFP spokesman

A military official said Friday leaders, consultants, and staffers of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines who are holding safe conduct pass can now be arrested with the termination of the peace talks.

Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of Philippines, said safe conduct passes that were issued to individuals for being consultant to the peace negotiations ipso facto (by the act or fact) loses efficacy when the peace negotiation was terminated.

“This follows that such individuals availing of such safe conduct passes may now be validly arrested,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced Thursday the termination of talks between the government and communist group.

"I would like to announce that I am no longer entertaining any interventions or maybe persuasions in this democratic state of the Republic of the Philippines. My sense is that you can maybe talk to the next president of this republic one day," he added.

He earlier terminated the appointments of the five-man government panel led by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

Also on Thursday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said localized panels will be formed following the dissolution of the government panel.

He said sectoral representatives, local government units and the military will make up the panels for localized peace talks with the communists.

Arevalo said since January 2018 to date, more than 11,000 New People’s Army regulars, supporters, and sympathizers went down from their mountain hideouts to rejoin their families, avail of government benefits, and live normal lives.

“Mr. Sison consistently calls localized peace talks as a 'waste of people’s money, cheap trick, absurd and stupid' and by other deriding terms. He moves heaven and earth to prevent it because it will further relegate him to history’s dustbin and render him and his ilk, as they are now, insignificant,” he said.

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