Communist leaders allowed to travel abroad as peace talks resume

Branch 100 of the Regional Trial Court in Manila granted on Friday motions of key leftist leaders to travel abroad after the stalled peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

“Accordingly, Benito Tiamzon, Adelberto Silva, Rafael Baylosis, Randall Echanis and Vicente Ladlad are permitted to travel abroad from June 22-26, 2018 and June 27-30, 2018 to participate in the conduct of informal and formal talks with respect to the peace negotiations,” the court said its decision.

In the case of Tiamzon and Silva their standing warrants of arrest were lifted.

According to the five-page order, the court’s decision was based on the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the peace talks would resume within 60 days.

READ: Duterte orders resumption of peace talks with Reds

However, the court set strict conditions on the “provisional liberty” of Tiamzon and Silva and the travel plea of the concerned persons.

For one, the court requires the parties to appear before it and the embassies and to provide their personal contact information.

“For the duration of the informal and formal talks, the accused-movants [Tiamzon et al] shall report to the Embassies of the Republic of the Philippines in The Netherlands and in Norway, whenever required,” the court said.

The decision also said that the parties should return three days after the completion of the formal and informal talks in the Netherlands – aside from the requirement to submit a written report on the outcome of the said talks.

“Upon their return, accused-movants should file within ten (10) days their arrival a written report as regards the outcome of said talks,” the court added.

It was also specified that Tiamzon and Silva need to post another bond amounting to P100,000 as their previous bail had already canceled.

The peace negotiations between the government and NDFP is an attempt to conclude the decades of armed conflict between left-leaning factions and the government.

President Duterte has previously canceled the peace talks, claiming that the the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) had not respected the truce after allegedly engaging in “acts of violence and hostilities”. /atm

READ: Duterte signs Proclamation No. 360 terminating peace talks with NPA
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