The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemned the arrest of its peace consultant Vicente Ladlad along with couple Alberto and Virginia Villamor midnight of November 8 in Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City.
The NDFP said Ladlad’s arrest is a flagrant violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) it signed with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).
The group also accused arresting officers of “planting” explosives on Ladlad to justify his prolonged detention on non-bailable offenses.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Ladlad was in possession of two assault rifles, two handguns, four grenades and assorted ammunition at the time of his arrest.
Ladlad is the third NDFP consultant actively participating in the peace talks to be arrested by the Duterte regime.
“Less than a month ago, Adelberto Silva, a member of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms was arrested with five others in Sta. Cruz, Laguna on October 15 while conducting sectoral consultations,” the NDFP said.
A third consultant, Rafael Baylosis, was arrested along Katipunan Ave. in Quezon City on January 31.
Silva and Baylosis were also accused of possessing guns and explosives when arrested.
“Under the JASIG, Ladlad, Silva and Baylosis as duly accredited NDFP consultants publicly known to be involved in the peace negotiations should have been free from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive actions,” the NDFP said.
Just two weeks ago, Ladlad’s wife Fides Lim reported being tailed by suspected state agents riding a silver Innova van with plate number TY 4585 as she left her house.
A check with the Land Transportation Office revealed that the number is registered to a red Honda TMX motorcycle.
In a separate statement Thursday, Lim challenged the PNP to conduct a fingerprint test of all the guns the arresting officers said they found in the house where Ladlad was staying.
“They will not find a single speck of his fingerprint in any of that trove because they were all planted to keep him locked up on non-bailable charges. They faked their evidence because they have no case against him,” Lim said.
Lim said the PNP failed to present Ladlad in a press conference in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig Thursday in time for Director General Oscar Albayalde’s birthday when their stunt “flopped”.
“[T]he PNP failed to present Vic because their publicity stunt flopped when the media began interviewing me right inside that room and I said that all those guns the PNP says they captured from him were all planted,” Lim said.
“I kept on insisting that all I want is to see my husband, to verify with my own eyes that they have not harmed him in any way. But the PNP maneuvered at least three times to get me and the media out of that room,” she added.
Lim said she told the media that the PNP is doing this because it wanted to display the “planted guns” on the tables inside the room and it did not want the feisty woman around.
“What is PNP Chief Albayalde so afraid of? The truth. Because he is a liar who manufactures evidence to justify their cases that are built on pure lies,” Lim fumed.
She added it was only after nearly nine hours that she was able to see her husband when they sped after the PNP convoy that brought him back to Camp Karingal to imprison him.
“Happy birthday, Gen. Albayalde, I’m glad I rained on your parade,” Lim taunted.
The NDFP said it demands its consultants’ immediate release and the dropping of “trumped-up criminal charges” against them to end their unjust detention.
The NDFP likewise demanded the release of four other “unjusty imprisoned” NDFP consultants Rommel Salinas and Ferdinand Castillo who are being held in BJMP facilities and Eduardo Sarmiento and Leopoldo Caloza who are incarcerated at the national penitentiary. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)