The National Democratic Front (NDF) called out for the arrest of former President Benigno Aquino III for his involvement in the Kidapawan incident. He will also be tried under a people’s court for an alleged human rights violation. However, this was dismissed by both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Senator Panfilo Lacson.
According to AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, only recognized Philippine trial courts can prosecute and convict any person or entity accused of committing a crime.
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson said that the arrest of the NDF is illegal and that it is the duty of both the military and the police to protect Aquino. He also stated that regardless of government efforts to enter in an agreement with the group, the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-NDF) is still branded as enemies of the state. The NDF serves as the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines and handles the party’s negotiation with the government.
It was on Saturday when the NDF-Southern Mindanao Command ordered the arrest of Aquino and other officials to be tried in a “people’s court” for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of human rights.
The order also lists North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista, North Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco, and other military and police officials.
It was last year when farmers gathered in Kidapawan to protest the lack of government assistance during the height of the El Nino phenomenon when authorities had allegedly opened fire at protesters, killing two farmers and injuring many others.