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Walang JASIG! PNP defends arrest of NDF consultant for illegal firearms

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MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday clarified that the arrest of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Vicente Ladlad and two others in a raid in Quezon City is lawful.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the act did not violate the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG) noting that there is already a suspension of peace talks and the suspects committed a crime.

“This is the violation of the law. Illegal possession of firearms. Let us be clear on that. We cannot use JASIG or any similar agreement to cover up for that. It is prohibited. This is a simple or blatant violation of law possession of loose firearms,” the PNP chief stressed.

In 1995, the Philippine government and the NDFP signed the JASIG which provides immunity and guarantees the safety of persons involved in the peace talks.

Albayalde said the raid was conducted by combined operatives from the National Capital Region Police Office, Quezon City Police District and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, supported by elements of Joint Task Force-National Capital Region and the Philippine Army.

The raid is by virtue of a search warrant issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 89 Judge Cecilyn E. Burgos-Villavert against the three suspects for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

Albayalde also dismissed insinuations that Ladlad’s arrest was a “birthday” gift to him.”

“This is basically coincidence. I would like to commend the efforts of the NCRPO and the joint task force NCR and of course, the PA (Philippine Army) we want to commend their efforts,” said the PNP chief, who turned 55 on Thursday.

Albayalde said subversive documents from the raid will be subjected to document exploitation.

“Basically, the document exploitation is being done jointly by the intelligence group of PNP and AFP so most probably, the documents will be brought to the AFP together with the others previously recovered so it will all be examined to together,” the PNP chief explained.

Meanwhile, the seized loose firearms, ammunitions, and explosives will be subjected to ballistic test to determine whether these were used in illegal activities. (PNA)