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Re-posted from Bulatlat

9 NDFP Consultants Released for Formal Talks

RONALYN V. OLEA August 17, 2016


MANILA Nine consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) have been released this week.

Released on bail were Maria Conchita Araneta-Bocala, Renante Gamara, Ernesto Lorenzo, Roger Soluta, Alan Jazmines, Tirso Alcantara, Alfred Mapano and Kennedy Bangibang.

Another NDFP consultant, Jaime Soledad, was freed after the Ormoc Regional Trial Court Branch 35 dropped all the charges against him for lack of evidence.

Cristina Palabay, secretary general of human rights alliance Karapatan, said she expects other NDFP consultants to be released on bail tomorrow.

Twenty-two NDFP consultants filed petitions for bail last week after the Supreme Court issued a calling on local courts to give appropriate priority to cases involving NDFP consultants.

The government has said there are certain conditions for the release of NDFP consultants. The temporary liberty of NDFP consultants is only for the duration of the peace talks.

Other conditions include returning to the Philippines after the formal peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway and reporting to the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Norway whenever required. The GRP panel also maintained that once the participation of the NDFP consultants ceases or the peace negotiations are terminated, their respective bonds shall be automatically canceled.

Also released on humanitarian grounds were political prisoners Alex and Winona Birondo.

Palabay said the release of consultants is crucial to the resumption of formal peace talks scheduled this Aug. 20 to Aug. 27 in Oslo, Norway.






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