Wife claims evidence were planted
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - A consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines was arrested in Novaliches, Quezon City for alleged possession of illegal firearms, police said Thursday.
The Quezon City police said they nabbed Vic Ladlad and two others in a "safehouse" in Barangay San Bartolome by virtue of a search warrant issued by a local court.
Recovered from the suspects were one AK47 with bayonet, an M16A1 assault rifle, two cal. 45 pistols, and 9mm pistol, several loaded magazines, 4 grenades, and "subversive documents."
Ladlad and the two other suspects were immediately brought to Camp Karingal following the arrest. They will be transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan.
Fides, Ladlad's wife, denied her 68-year-old husband had any guns in his possession. She added that her husband currently needs medicine because he has been sickly due to chronic asthma, among others.
"Planted evidence 'yun para hindi makalabas yung asawa ko sa kulungan," she told DZMM on Thursday.
Fides also said her husband was not with her during the arrest.
She claimed Ladlad had to go away because the military were searching for them after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to arrest NDFP consultants when the peace talks was terminated.
She even claimed being tailed by military forces last month.
"Itong sa community, ang nakuha naming information, kinausap sila ng mga pulis. Tapos insistent iyong community na peace-loving, tahimik lamang sila at walang baril sa bahay," she said.
Philippine National Police Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde vehemently denied Fides’ allegation, describing it as an “alibi.”
“The police or AFP is not engaged in unlawful acts. We don’t tolerate such acts. We’re not engaged in planting evidence.”
Meanwhile, police said Ladlad is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines' Central Committee and the head of the National United Front Commission.
CPP Founder Jose Maria Sison confirmed to ABS-CBN News on Thursday that Ladlad was arrested but claimed that the police had no valid warrant.
Sison said Ladlad was allowed by government to join the backchannel talks from March to June 2018, even after Duterte terminated formal negotiations in November 2017.
The peace talks between the government and communist rebels were terminated last year after President Rodrigo Duterte cited continuing attacks by the New People's Army.
Armed Forces chief of staff Carlito Galvez Jr. said the suspension of peace talks means that communist consultants with pending cases must surrender.
“The JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees ) provided them some sort of temporary relief of being arrested… They have to turn in. We will pursue all these cases and will hunt them down,” he said.
--report from Isay Reyes, Christian Esguerra, and Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News