Recent arrest of another NDFP peace consultant, in further spite of the peace process

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The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and various local and international organizations pushing for the peace process have intently been pressing on with their efforts towards genuine, lasting peace through the attainment of mutual agreements, fundamental socio-economic and political-constitutional changes, and serious end to hostilities.

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The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH)—in particular, as of late on the part of the present Aquino regime—has, on the contrary, treacherously been continuing with its belittling and grave disregard of (to the extent of intently trampling upon) agreements already made from the onset and through the course of the NDFP-GPH peace talks.

This, even in the case of agreements quite crucial to the continuation and progress of the peace process, such as the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig). The CARHRIHL is supposed to ensure the respect and protection on both sides in the ongoing civil strife in the country. The Jasig is supposed to ensure that peace consultants and staffs of both sides are protected from surveillance, arrest, detention, prosecution and other antagonistic acts that would violate their rights as well as deter their effective participation and work in the peace process.

Yet, the military, paramilitary, police and intelligence forces of the GPH have without let-up been surveilling, arresting, detaining, swamping with trumped-up criminal charges and violating the human, legal and other rights of NDFP peace consultants and other Jasig-protected NDFP forces the GPH forces can lay their hands on.

The latest NDFP peace consultant who has been subjected to such traitorous acts of the GPH forces has been Ma. Loida Magpatoc, an NDFP peace consultant representing the NDFP in far south Mindanao.

Magpatoc is 52 years old, married and a grandmother to five.

Despite her being Jasig-protected, a P500,000 reward was put up by the Armed Forces of the Philippines for her capture.

In performance of her work as an NDFP peace consultant, Magpatoc had been immersing and consulting with the local community folk in the barangay of far south Mindanao in regard to land, production and other socio-economic and political issues, when the 1002nd (1002nd Bde) of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (10th ID PA) got wind of her presence in Brgy. Zone III, Digos, Davao del Sur and came to arrest her as early as 4 a.m. last July 28.

The entire local community, however, immediately learned of the situation and came out en masse to protect her and block the 1002nd Bde. Magpatoc presented her Jasig Document of Information to the 1002nd Bde and claimed her protection from arrest. But the 1002nd Bde only confiscated her Jasig document, ignored her claim for protection from arrest, and insisted on proceeding to arrest her. The barangay folk, who were surrounding her, refused to let the 1002nd Bde forces take her, as the former were apprehensive that the latter would only commit foul deeds against her. Magpatoc and the barangay folk asked if there was a warrant for her arrest, but the 1002nd Bde forces were not able to present any.

The arrest was eventually made, however, when the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Davao del Sur came later in the day to take her, this time armed with warrant of arrest (based on trumped-up criminal charges of “robbery,” “damage to properties” and “double homicide”), and bring her to their Digos headquarters. From there, she was flown the very next day to Metro Manila and brought for confinement at the Taguig City Jail Female Dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

After her arrest, the reward for Ma.LoidaMagpatoc’s capture by the AFP, suddenly became P5.6 million.

Alan Jazmines
NDFP peace consultant
detained at the
Special intensive Care Area,
Camp BagongDiwa, Taguig City
30 August 2013

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