NDFP consultant arrested

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7) — A peace consultant of the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and his wife were arrested last night.

According to Senior Superintendent William Segun of the Cavite Police District, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant and Philippine Peace Center Executive Director Rey Casambre, 67, and his wife Patricia Casambre, 65, were arrested while onboard a silver Toyota Vios along Brgy. Niyog 3, Molino Boulevard, Bacoor, Cavite.

Cavite police said Rey, who was also tagged in their report as a member of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has arrest warrants for murder and two counts of attempted murder issued last November 23 by Lupon, Davao Oriental Regional Trial Court Branch 32 Judge Emilio G. Dayanghirang III.

Police said they seized one Colt Commander .45 pistol, a .45 magazine, seven .45 live ammunition, a bundle of electric detonating cord, a fragmentation grenade, two cellphones, a Macbook laptop, ₱6,000 each and the vehicle they were aboard on.

The Casambres would remain with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Camp Crame, Quezon City until the Davao court issues an order recommitting them to a regular jail facility, police said.

The CPP condemned the arrest of the couple on what they call "trumped up" charges, adding that it violated Rey's rights under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), a 1995 agreement signed by the government and the NDFP guaranteeing immunity and safety of those involved in the peace talks.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte has terminated the peace talks with the communist rebels due to its continued attacks. The government also cancelled the JASIG in March 2017.

The CPP and the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL) also accused police of planting evidence.

"The arrest of the Casambres, treacherous as it is baseless, once again proves that this government cannot be trusted and that it is the number one violator of the most basic rights especially of those seeking genuine and long-lasting solutions to the problems besetting our people and our country," NUPL President Edre Olalia said.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte has terminated the peace talks with the communist rebels due to its continued attacks. The government also cancelled the JASIG in March 2017.

Rey, along with former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, were previously tagged by the military as the leaders of an alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte dubbed as "Red October."

CNN Philippines Senior Researcher Ella Hermonio contributed to this report