February 1, 2018
NDFP peace consultant Raffy Baylosis was arrested yesterday, on the basis false or trumped-up charges, and after the peace talks were terminated by Duterte. The arrest is a violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. He must be immediately released. The trumped-up charges must stop. Rather than persecute peace consultants, Duterte should resume peace talks on the most important substantive agenda. Ka Raffy has worked on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms as a means to address the roots of the armed conflict. This includes provisions on land reform and national industrialization. In contrast, the Duterte regime has wrecked havoc on the lives of the poor with neoliberal economic policies, higher taxes, the phaseout of public jeepneys and the sell-out of the national economy and patrimony to foreign interests.
Peace advocates and social activists stand with Raffy Baylosis. He is no criminal. Resistance to injustice, and working for a just peace, are not crimes. ###
*Photo from web