Baylosis no longer enjoys immunity from arrest: Palace

Rafael Baylosis

Rafael Baylosis

The arrest of Baylosis and Roque was the first since Duterte cancelled the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in November a year ago.

The JASIG, signed between the Philippine government and the NDF in 1995, guarantees "free and unhindered passage" inside and outside the Philippines for persons involved in the peace talks.

The Tiamzon couple, who face multiple murder charges, as well as Baylosis, were consultants for the National Democratic Front, the rebels' political wing, in the peace negotiations, which Duterte cancelled late previous year.

Baylosis and Guerrero were placed under the custody of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group at its headquarters in Camp Crame.

As to whether Baylosis' case was bailable or not, she also said it would be up to the Supreme Court.

"This illegal arrest and detention of NDFP Consultant Rafael Baylosis is a flagrant violation of the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees", NDF national executive committee member Luis Jalandoni said in a statement.

The NDFP has demanded the immediate and unconditional release of NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosis and his companion.

"JASIG is already worthless because there is no more peace talks", Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press conference in Baguio City.

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Baylosis, 69, a member of the NDFP reciprocal Working Group on Political and Constitutional Reforms, was arrested on Wednesday by the CIDG-NCR near the corner of Katipunan Avenue and Aurora Blvd.in Quezon City at 3:45 pm.

The NDFP said Duterte should respect and implement the JASIG, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL, 1998) and other binding peace agreements.

Duterte ended intermittent peace talks with Maoist-led rebels in November and declared them "terrorists" because hostilities had continued during the negotiations, ordering security forces to go after guerrilla leaders.

Malacanan Palace reiterated, however, that the arrests of Baylosis and Guerrero were legal. "He has a warrant of arrest and our authorities may face dereliction of duties charges if they will not arrest him", Roque told a news briefing.

"If they think that the arrest is illegal based on the Jasig, then they should file a habeas corpus".

The non-bailable arrest has been condemned by their leftist colleagues, saying President Duterte manifested fickle-mindedness in pursuing the talks.

Other high-profile NDF consultants who were released from detention by the government to participate in the talks were Benito and Wilma Tiamzon.

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