Manila court orders re-arrest of Tiamzons

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) — A local court has ordered the arrest of three National Democratic Front (NDF) peace consultants Wednesday.

In an order dated January 11, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 granted the Justice Department's motion for recommitment and cancellation of bail of Benito Tiamzon, Wilma Tiamzon, and Adelberto Silva.

"The respective cash bonds in the amount of P100,000 posted by the accused Adelberto Silva, Benito Tiamzon, and Wilma Tiamzon are hereby cancelled," the order stated.

The court called for the issuance of an arrest warrant.

Silva and the Tiamzons were granted provisional liberty in 2016 to participate in peace negotiations between the government and the NDF, the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

The Tiamzons and Silva were released in August last year in time for the resumption of the peace talks. They were charged with multiple counts of murder for allegedly killing civilians whose bodies were discovered in a mass grave in 1986 in Leyte.

However, after President Rodrigo Duterte formally ended the negotiations through Proclamation 360 in November, the Justice Department has sought their re-arrest.

READ: Duterte orders freed communist rebels to surrender: 'Go back to where you belong'

"In view of the cancellation of the peace talks, there is no more legal ground for the continuous provisional liberty of the accused," the order stated.

The government has also declared the CPP, and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), as terrorist groups.

In a statement, NDF legal counsel Edre Olalia said they may file a motion for reconsideration.

"We maintain that the peace negotiations have not yet been terminated properly and in accordance with the solemn and binding protocol mutually agreed upon by the parties," Olalia said.

Olalia told CNN Philippines he is not aware of the whereabouts of Silva and the Tiamzons.

Before Duterte terminated talks with the communists, the long-stalled fifth round of peace negotiations was scheduled for November 25 to 27, 2017 in Norway.

Informal talks were held on November 21-22 in The Netherlands in preparation for the formal round of negotiations.

The Norwegian government had acted as third party facilitator of the talks to put an end to the 48-year-old insurgency, the longest-running in Asia.