Top CPP-NDF leaders set to be released as move to resume peace talks under way

Communist leaders are expected to be released from detention today, Aug. 15.

Supposed National Democratic Front (NDF) peace consultants based in Western Visayas and Davao are set to be temporarily freed from jail in anticipation of the forthcoming resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-NDF) in Oslo, Norway on Aug. 20.

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Iloilo City will accordingly grant the urgent appeal of CPP-Panay leader Concha Araneta-Bocala to be released today while two unnamed NDF leaders will also be granted temporary freedom by the Tagum City RTC.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process named the following as the NDF consultants who are to be allowed to join the GRP-NDF negotiations: Tirso Alcantara, Alex Birondo, Winona Birondo, Maria Concepcion Bocala, Reynante Gamara, Alan Jazmines, Ma. Loida Magpatoc, Adelberto Silva, Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, partylist Rep. Satur Ocampo and NDF panel members Randall Echanis and Vicente Ladlad.

The Supreme Court earlier had allowed Ocampo, Echanis and Ladlad to attend the talks. This was followed by the release on bail of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon and Adelberto Silva by the Manila RTC.

President Duterte previously mandated certain agencies to work on the temporary release of key political prisoners to attend the peace talks in Oslo, Norway.

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said the members of the government peace panel are ready for the resumption of the formal peace talks with the NDF on Aug. 22 which will be hosted by the Royal Norwegian Government as third party facilitator.

He said the members of the panel – Angela Librado, Noel Felongco, Rene Sarmiento, Hernani Braganza and Chair Silvestre Bello III – are set to take the trip to Oslo.

Dureza said it is also important for the NDF to complete their panel members whose participation in the talks is crucial. He, however, clarified that members of the NDF delegation have to be released on the basis of official processes.

For those whose cases not pending with the Supreme Court, Dureza said they are now dealing with the judicial processes in the local regional courts where their cases are pending.

Source: Daily Tribune