National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno slammed today the illegal arrest last Monday and illegal detention of another consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in the latter’s peace negotiations with the government of the Philippines.
The labor group condemned the arrest of Adelberto Silva, peace consultant of the NDFP, long-time labor organizer and KMU consultant on the peace process, his wife and fellow activist Rosanna Cabusao and aide Isidro De Lima, saying their arrest violates the government’s previous agreements with the NDFP.
Silva was arrested by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police (CIDG-PNP) despite being an identified NDFP consultant who is protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed by both the NDFP and the government.
“We condemn Silva’s illegal and treacherous arrest. His arrest only further shows that this government is a hypocrite in bragging about promoting peace in Mindanao while shamelessly violating previously-signed agreements with the NDFP,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
The labor leader claimed that Silva was detained on the basis of trumped-up charges and planted evidence as part of a deliberate attempt to criminalize NDFP consultants and sabotage the peace negotiations.
He also claimed that De Lima was organized in his community by KMU’s worker-organizers.
“Illegal arrests, planting of evidence, and filing of trumped-up charges against NDFP consultants are long-standing schemes of the Aquino government to sabotage the peace negotiations. It wants to make activists fighting for radical change appear like they are criminals,” Labog said.
KMU also condemned the Aquino government for persisting in its militaristic approach to the armed insurgency being waged by the New People’s Army instead of seeking to address the root causes of the armed conflict which lie in widespread unemployment, poverty, and hunger.
“It is appalling that the Aquino government continues to violate its previous agreements with the NDFP instead of addressing the root causes of the armed conflict in the country. The armed conflict persists precisely because the Aquino government fails to improve the situation of the country’s majority,” Labog added.
KMU said Silva acted as the group’s consultant on the peace process, drawing insights from labor activists and leaders on alternative labor laws, land reform, and national industrialization.
Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597