Palace: Jalandoni won’t be arrested

Published November 20, 2018, 7:56 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Genalyn Kabiling

Luis Jalandoni, a consultant of the National Democratic Front, will not be arrested when he attends the informal peace talks with the government in the country, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Jalandoni’s apprehension that he would be arrested once he sets foot in Philippine soil was “misplaced.”

“Mr. Jalandoni’s intention in returning to the country is to promote the peace talks between their movement and the Philippine government, he is assured therefore that no arrest will be effected upon his person,” Panelo said in a statement.

“To think otherwise is contrary to logic for certainly, a successful amicable discussion between the parties cannot be expected when one party’s liberty is – or threatened to be – compromised,” he added.

Panelo issued the remarks amid reports that Jalandoni has dropped his plan to return to the country this month due to concerns of a possible arrest by government forces. Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año earlier warned that the police would arrest Jalandoni and Fidel Agcaoili, both NDF consultants, when they arrive in the country.

Panelo, however, explained that Año’s statement was made when the peace negotiations were earlier scrapped.

“Mr. Jalandoni cites the pronouncement of Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año that he would be arrested. Such statement was made when the peace talks was cancelled by the President due to the violations of the ceasefire agreement by the communist rebels,” Panelo said.

“Given that the President has opened a venue for informal talks with the NDF leaders to explore the possibility of resuming the peace talks, it goes without saying that no arrest shall be made during the days of informal talks,” he added.

The President earlier revealed that Jalandoni and Agcaoili sought a meeting with him on the possible revival of the peace talks. Duterte said he would first consult with his security officials before making a decision.

He later directed Panelo and Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza to meet with Jalandoni and Fidel Agcaoili in Manila.