National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Rey Casambre and his wife Cora raise their fists while being held inside Camp Crame.
Karapatan, Released
NDFP’s Casambre, wife arrested
(philstar.com) - December 7, 2018 - 1:52pm

MANILA, Philippines — National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Rey Casambre and his wife were arrested by security forces past midnight.

According to local human rights group Karapatan, Casambre—also the executive director of Philippine Peace Center—and his wife Patricia Cora Casambre were arrested in Cavite.

The police said Casambre has warrants of arrest for alleged murder and attempted murder.

Authorities said they seized firearms with bullets and a fragmentation grenade.

Edre Olalia, NDFP negotiating panel legal counsel, called the non-bailable murder charges “trumped-up.”

“And as tiringly contrived as expected, a roving firearm and a rusty grenade were again routinely planted to make the arrest appear aboveboard for good measure. Nobody would ever believe such false narrative,” Olalia said in a statement.

The 67-year-old Casambre is the sixth NDFP consultant “illegally arrested” during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, Karapatan noted. 

Last month, the military and the police arrested NDFP peace consultant Vicente Ladlad for alleged illegal possession of firearms in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Covered by JASIG

Olalia stressed that Casambre is covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees—the agreement signed by the Philippine government and the NDFP in 1995.

“[Casambre] should not have been surveilled, harassed and arrested for an indubitably manufactured case. The arrest of the Casambres, treacherous as it is baseless, once again proves that this government cannot be trusted and that it is the number one violator of the most basic rights especially of those seeking genuine and long-lasting solutions to the problems besetting our people and our country,” he said.

When Ladlad was arrested last month, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo claimed that JASIG cannot be invoked because Duterte has scrapped the peace talks with the communist insurgents.

According to JASIG, “duly accredited persons are guaranteed immunity from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive actions due to any involvement or participation in the peace negotiations.”

It adds: “All immunities acquired by virtue of this Joint Agreement shall remain in full force and effect even after the termination of this Joint Agreement, provided said immunities shall not cover acts which are contrary to the purposes of the peace negotiations and outside and beyond involvement or participation in the peace negotiations.” — Gaea Katreena Cabico

NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES REY CASAMBRE
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