Fidel V. Agcaoili
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
December 7, 2018 Press Statement
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) vehemently condemns the arrest last night of Rey Claro Casambre, executive director of the Philippine Peace Center and his wife Cora as they were on the way home to Molino, Cavite.
Casambre was arrested on trumped-up murder and frustrated murder charges related to an incident in Lupon, Davao Oriental on September 13, 2018. Also in the charge sheet and currently experiencing intense harassment and surveillance are others who have assisted the NDFP negotiating panel in various capacities as resource persons, writers, researchers and staff during the peace negotiations.
As was done to the other arrested NDFP consultants, the arresting team planted firearms, ammunition and explosives in the Casambres’ vehicle to ensure their prolonged and unjust detention.
Casambre is the fourth NDFP consultant active in the peace negotiations to be arrested this year. A long-time peace advocate who has closely monitored and conducted extensive research on the Philippine peace process, Casambre was a frequent speaker in fora organized by multi-sectoral groups calling for the resumption of the peace negotiations. He also often granted interviews to the media on issues related to the peace talks.
The Duterte regime’s unjust arrest of Casambre on ludicrous charges virtually closes the doors to any possibility of resuming the peace negotiations with the Duterte regime. To ensure the smooth resumption of the formal peace talks, the detained peace consultants should be released immediately.#