Red plotters busted

National Democratic Front member Adelberto Silva (C) is escorted by armed jail guards as he arrives for his bail hearing at a court in Manila on August 11, 2016. - Silva is attending bail hearing for his temporary release, as consultant of the Communist party peace negotiating panel, and will be attending the second round of talks between the government and communist party leaders in Oslo, Norway this month, as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's efforts to revive stalled peace talks, a step towards ending one of Asia's longest insurgencies that has killed tens of thousands of people. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)

The arrest of a National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant, along with four activists in Sta. Cruz, Laguna late Monday afternoon, could provide more details to the Red October plot to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte.

This was claimed yesterday by the joint operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who believed to have broken a crucial chain in the alleged plan to destabilize the government.

Arrested was NDF consultant Adelberto Silva, a former political detainee who was released from detention along with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leaders and Benito and Wilma Tiamzon in August 2016.

He was cornered by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR).

Also nabbed were Erineo Atader, Edicel Legaspi, Hedda Calderon and Julio Lusania. They were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The AFP and PNP quickly linked them to the Red October which they claimed had fizzled out after it failed to receive support from the political opposition and the masses.

AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr. said their arrest weakened plans to unseat President Duterte.

The Manila regional trial court in January ordered the arrest of Silva and the Tiamzon couple after the court revoked their temporary liberty for being NDF consultants in the aborted peace negotiations between government and the Maoist rebels.

The peace talks were terminated by Mr. Duterte.

Supt. Meliton Salvadora, commander of the Laguna Police Public Safety Company, said Silva and his companions were aboard a car heading south of Laguna when they were arrested.

“As to the details of where they were headed and the case, it’s the CIDG that has them. We only provided the security,” Salvadora said. He described the suspects as “high security risks.”

Recovered from them were a .45 caliber pistol, a rifle, a hand grenade, an improvised explosive device and several rounds of ammunition.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST) spokesman Casey Cruz, meanwhile, said the five activists were first taken to the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City and will undergo inquest proceedings in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

“As we can see, the government is serious about its crackdown on leader-activists in Southern Tagalog still (to justify its claims) of the Red October (destabilization) plot,” Cruz said. “But we remain steadfast in our calls to resume the peace talks and our calls for the government to address our legitimate (social) issues.”

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate slammed the arrests of Silva and his companions, saying these are happening while Duterte has refused to revive the peace talks with the communist group.

“Instead of resuming the peace negotiations and solve the roots of the armed conflict, this is what the Duterte administration has been doing,” said Zarate in a statement Tuesday.

According to the lawmaker, the peace, reconciliation and unity committee in the House of Representatives already approved House Resolution 2065 which urged the government to resume the peace negotiations but Zarate stressed the Palace is not heeding the demands of the public.

“Apparently Malacañang is deaf to the demands of the people,” Zarate said, adding that many lawmakers have signed and supported the resolution.

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