By Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant
The arrest of Rodolfo Salas on the baseless charge against him and others, including me, shows that those military officials who oppose the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations will do anything to discourage and prevent these.
As pointed out by his lawyers from FLAG before the Supreme Court, Salas served out his sentence for simple rebellion from 1986 to 1992 and it was guaranteed under the Hernandez political offense doctrine that he could not be held liable for common crimes. It would be double jeopardy to hold him liable for the baseless charge about an alleged incident in the rebellion in 1985.
The same jurisprudence (Hernandez doctrine) is also in my favor inasmuch as the rebellion and subversion cases against me from 1977 onwards were nullified in 1986 upon the invalidation of the Marcos fiats that had brought about martial law and the military commissions under which I was arraigned and tried but failed to convict me until the fall of Marcos.
Most of important of all in my particular case, the charge is patently false because I was under maximum security detention at the Fort Bonifacio when the alleged crime occurred in Leyte in 1985.
Going back to the possibility of peace negotiations, the arrest of Salas shows that the military and police under the Duterte regime cannot be trusted to respect the rights of people who have a record of rebellion but have decided to live within the ruling system.
Salas is victimized the same way that the NDFP consultants have been arbitrarily arrested and illegally detained, with the additional use of planted firearms and ammunition. He should be released immediately.
The message is clear that I cannot go to the Philippines without considering sufficient progress in the peace negotiations if any and without the necessary legal, political and security precautions and guarantees.
The revolutionary movement is also forewarned that it cannot trust the Duterte regime, especially while the military and police are on a rampage under Executive Order No. 70 and National Task Force-ELCAC.
The engage in red-tagging, arresting and killing rebel suspects, social activists, human rights defenders and other people in the name of anti-communism and in the most blatant style of fascist terrorism.###