Duterte pardons 10 political prisoners

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First photo of the group outside the New Bilibid Prison

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 7) — President Rodrigo Duterte pardoned 10 political prisoners on Thursday, including a leftist peace consultant, in line with the resumption of peace talks, human rights group Karapatan said.

Alternative media outfit Kodao Productions reported the following were released from the New Bilibid Prison at around 4 p.m.:

  • National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Peace Consultant Emeterio Antalan
  • Joel Ramada
  • Apolonio Barado
  • Jose Navarro
  • Generoso Rolida
  • Arnulfo Boates
  • Manolito Patricio
  • Josue Ungsod
  • Sonny Marbella

Government Peace Panel Chairman Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday said peace talks with the NDFP will resume "probably" by the second or third week of August.

READ: Peace talks with communist rebels to resume August - gov't peace panel

It was the second time the President released political prisoners. Around 20 detainees were released in late 2016.

However, NDFP Chief Negotiator Fidel Agcaoli said Thursday's release was volunteered by the government in December.

"This manifests the regime's total lack of empathy and concern for the plight of political prisoners who are/have been in prison for trumped up charges in violation of the CARHRIHL (Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law)," Agcaoili told Kodao.

Agcaoili said there are 409 political prisoners still in detention.