Dela Rosa said Communist leader, companion arrested for illegal possession of firearms
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said Communist leader Rafael Baylosis and Guillermo Roque were arrested Wednesday in Quezon City for illegal possession of firearms.
“Yes he (Baylosis) has firearms and he is a known personality from the left, he was being monitored having firearms so he was arrested,” he said in Taguig City on Thursday.
Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) National Capital Region with the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other units of the PNP arrested Baylosis and Roque at the vicinity of Aurora Blvd. corner Katipunan Ave., Quezon City around 3:45 pm.
Authorities confiscated two caliber .45 pistols, 14 ammunition and two magazines from them.
Dela Rosa said the arrest of Baylosis, a National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant who took part in the peace talks between the Communists and the Philippine government in 2016 until it was ended by President Rodrigo Duterte late last year, has nothing to do with politics.
“It is purely (because of) our problem on NPA, problem on insurgency. There is no politics here,” he said.
“They said it's (is a form of) pressure for us. It is our job, nothing personal we are just doing our job,” he added
Human rights group Karapatan condemned the arrest of Baylosis.
“The government has again focused its efforts in the persecution of peace consultants. Instead of working to resolve the roots of the armed conflict by way of pursuing the peace talks, the Duterte regime has instead resorted to fascist reprisals,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said in a statement.
“We strongly condemn the illegal arrest of peace consultant Rafael Baylosis and Roque Guillermo, as we demand their immediate release,” she added.
Palabay emphasized that Baylosis who is “a member of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Group on Political and Constitutional Reforms, is 69 years old, and is suffering from heart ailments.”
In a statement, the National Democratic Front (NDF) also criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for the arrest of Baylosis.
“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 (JASIG, 1995),” it stated.
“President Duterte must be held accountable for this trampling upon a valid peace agreement that assures all consultants and those participating in peace negotiations immunity from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive action,” the statement added. Robina Asido/DMS