MANILA — Malacanang on Thursday said National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant Rafael Baylosis can no longer use the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) to protest his arrest.
“JASIG is already worthless because there is no more peace talks,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press conference in Baguio City.
Roque said even Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) could not be used for immunity from arrest.
“CARHRIHL is human rights and humanitarian law. If a person has warrant of arrest or if there is basis for warrantless arrest, he should be arrested because if not, it will be dereliction of duty,” Roque, a lawyer, explained.
Police arrested Baylosis and Guillermo Roque, a New People’s Army (NPA) member, on Wednesday but the NDF condemned the arrest and demanded for the immediate release of their companions.
“If they think that their arrest, other than on the basis of JASIG, was illegal, then they should file habeas corpus because there is no martial law here in Luzon,” Roque said.
Roque said it was the sworn duty of President Rodrigo Duterte to implement the laws.
“And since there is no peace talks, they are not exempt from full compliance with our penal laws,” he said
Roque said it was the communists’ fault why Duterte cancelled the peace talks “because they killed our soldiers.”
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 last year.
Baylosis is reportedly facing murder case over the Inopacan, Leyte massacre in 1985. (PNA)