Another NDFP consultant nabbed

Ma. Loida Magpatoc, 52 years old, had her Document of Identification with her, identifying her as one of the Jasig-protected individuals, when state security forces arrested her on July 28 in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — For the pursuance of peace talks, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP, now called Government of the Philippines or GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) signed in 1995 the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig).

Under Jasig, all duly accredited persons are guaranteed free and unhindered passage in all areas in the Philippines, and in travelling to and from the Philippines in connection with the performance of their duties in the negotiations. Duly accredited persons are those in possession of documents of identification (DI) or safe conduct passes. Immunity guarantees for all accredited persons include immunity from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive actions due to any involvement or participation in the peace negotiations.

Ma. Loida Magpatoc, 52 years old, had her Document of Identification with her, identifying her as one of the Jasig-protected individuals, when state security forces arrested her on July 28 in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

According to the NDFP statement, Magpatoc is an NDFP peace consultant who had been immersing and consulting with the local community folk in the villages of Far South Mindanao. At around 4 a.m. of July 28, elements of the1002nd Brigade (1002nd Bde) of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (10th ID PA) came to Zone III village, Digos, Davao del Sur to arrest her.

An electronic copy of the acknowledgement letter signed by former GRP panel chairman Silvestre Bello III certifying that Ma. Loida  Magpatoc is an NDFP consultant and covered by Jasig. (Courtesy of the NDFP)
An electronic copy of the acknowledgement letter signed by former GRP panel chairman Silvestre Bello III certifying that Ma. Loida Magpatoc is an NDFP consultant and covered by Jasig. (Courtesy of the NDFP)

Magpatoc presented her JASIG Document of Information to the 1002nd Bde. But the 1002nd Bde only confiscated her JASIG document, ignored her explanation that she is immune from arrest, and insisted on proceeding to arrest her.

The NDFP sent to Bulatlat.com through email a copy of the letter of acknowledgement signed by former GRP panel chairman Silvestro Bello III of Magpatoc’s Document of Identification with the number ND978254 and using the assumed name Puri Feleo. The undated letter signed by Bello stipulated that Magpatoc is an NDFP Consultant for Mindanao (VII) and “is entitled to the safety and immunity guarantees as provided under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) for the duration of the peace negotiations.”

The village folk refused to let the 1002nd Bde forces take Magpatoc. Later in the day, however, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Davao del Sur came to arrest her, this time with a warrant of arrest for alleged trumped-up charges of “robbery,” “damage to properties” and “double homicide.”

Magpatoc was brought to the PNP Digos headquarters. From there, she was flown to Metro Manila August 4 and now detained at the Taguig City Jail Female Dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

In a statement, the NDFP said the arrest of Magpatoc and her continuing detention at the Camp Bagong Diwa “is a gross violation of the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees.”

The NDFP demanded the release of Magpatoc and 12 other detained NDFP consultants.

In his statement from prison, Alan Jazmines, another NDFP consultant detained at Camp Bagong Diwa, said that the initial P500,000 ($11 thousand) reward put up by the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the capture of Magpatoc was increased to P5.6 million ($126 thousand) after the arrest.

Jazmines, at the time of his arrest in Febuary 2011, also presented his Document of Identification with the assumed name Dodi Lapida, number 978213. ()

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