What harassment? 'Bato' says arrest of NDF consultant 'just work'

Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 01 2018 01:43 PM | Updated as of Feb 02 2018 05:03 PM

MANILA - The country's top cop sees nothing wrong with the arrest of National Democratic Front consultant Rafael Baylosis amid cries of harassment from Leftist groups. 

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa said Baylosis was arrested because he was caught in possession of illegal firearms. 

"Sabi nila ginigipit? Sa 'min trabaho lang, walang personalan. Alangan namang pabayaan namin silang pakalat-kalat, gumagawa ng problema sa Pilipinas. They are enemies of the state," he told the press.

"May armas siya. Kilala siya ng personality ng kabila. Binabantayan siya. Mino-monitor siya. Nakitaan siya ng baril. O e hinuli," Dela Rosa explained, insisting that this is about the problem of insurgency. 

Baylosis was arrested with alleged New People's Army member Roque Guillermo along Aurora Boulevard corner Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. 

Police operatives said they received reports of suspicious men with firearms in the border of Manila and Quezon City last Tuesday. Both suspects were arrested after they allegedly tried to escape. 

The NDFP condemned the arrest and detention of Baylosis, saying it is "a flagrant violation of the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG, 1995)."

"'Yan man ang gusto nila, na hindi sila mahuli. Kami naman ang gusto namin, mahuli sila. Ganoon lang 'yun kasimple. Panggipit? Para di sila gipitin, huminto na sila kakapanggipit sa taumbayan," Dela Rosa responded to the NDFP statement. 

Baylosis was released last 2016 to participate in the peace talks. He is believed to be the first NDF consultant rearrested after President Duterte called off the peace talks.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story referred to Baylosis' companion as Guillermo Roque.