NDFP peace consultant, ex-priest subjected to inquest proceedings

Published March 22, 2019, 2:25 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Jeffrey Damicog

National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Renante Gamara and retired priest Arturo Joseph Balagat were subjected to inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila Friday following their arrest in Imus, Cavite.

NDFP peace consultant Renante Gamara (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

Gamara and Balagat were brought before Assistant State Prosecutor Florencio dela Cruz after the Philippine National Police (PNP) charged them with illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

The case was submitted for resolution based after the two no longer opted to forego a preliminary investigation.

After the inquest, they were brought to the detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Gamara and Balagat were arrested last Wednesday by a joint police-military team in Poblacion II-A in Imus.

A cal. 9mm pistol with magazine, two hand grenades, several electronic devices and gadgets containing subversive information, subversive documents and cash amounting to P90,000 were seized from Gamara and Balagat.

Gamara was arrested in 2012 in Las Pinas City for the kidnapping with murder of a soldier and for frustrated murder.

He was eventually released to participate in peace talks in Oslo, Norway, in 2016.

He went into hiding after President Duterte terminated the negotiations in 2017 and ordered the arrests of those freed.