By Genalyn D. Kabiling
The government has cancelled the safety conduct passes extended to communist rebel negotiators following the collapse in the peace talks.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza sent a letter to National Democratic Front (NDF) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison and panel chair Fidel Agcaoili about the matter, which apparently paves the way for the arrest of the NDF consultants earlier released.
“Following the President’s announcement of the cancellation of the peace talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF and per his instructions, the Government is hereby serving this notice of the termination of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Please be guided accordingly,” Dureza said in a letter dated February 7.
President Duterte earlier ordered the arrest of the NDF consultants earlier freed to join the peace negotiations. As for Sison, the President advised the communist leader not to return to the country or else be imprisoned.
“We will start to look for them and start to arrest them if they were in prison before and released on the condition that they are needed in the talks,” Duterte said about the NDF consultants allowed temporary liberty during the talks. “I will order the military and police to arrest them,” he said.
But the communist leaders claimed that NDF consultants are immune from arrest as part of the JASIG pact.
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