MANILA - The family and lawyer of alleged communist leader Rafael Baylosis on Friday called for justice following what they said was his illegal arrest.
Baylosis, a negotiator of the National Democratic Front panel in the peace negotiation with the government, and alleged New People's Army member Guillermo Roque were apprehended by police operatives after they received reports of "suspicious men with firearms" in Quezon City.
Lawyer Rachel Pastores said Baylosis had an "effective, existing, and valid" bail when he was accosted. This was supported by a decision by a Manila court denying the petition of a fiscal to cancel his bail, said Pastores.
"Simple lang ang basis ng RTC Manila—since it was the Supreme Court that originally granted the bail of Raffy Baylosis, therefore, it is only the Supreme Court that can cancel it," she told reporters.
Baylosis and Roque underwent inquest proceedings Thursday evening. Pastores said the recommendation of the prosecutor was to file cases of illegal possession of firearms after pistols were seized from them.
The prosecutor, however, deferred decision on recommending a charge relating to a hand grenade supposedly seized from Baylosis.
"Yung hand grenade ay walang nai-submit na certification yung PNP na ito ay live hand grenade at binigyan sila ng hanggang ngayong umaga to submit the certification," she said.
"Madali lang nilang gawin nila yun kung nagawa na nga nila itong mga papeles na ito," she added.
Baylosis' wife, Lualhati, said she was with her husband when he was arrested. She denied she planted a grenade in the rice provision she brought him and urged authorities to comply with the rule of law.
Pastores said the narrative of the police about Baylosis and Roque's arrest is "incredible, unbelievable at merong (and with) hallmarks of perjury."
The police had claimed, she said, that there was an information that there were 2 individuals roaming Metro Manila while in possession of guns. They were then sighted about to ride a tricycle when a pistol was seen in Baylosis' hip.
"Siguro naman it’s an insult to everybody kung sinumang maniniwala sa ganiyang kuwento. Raffy Baylosis is publicly known to be involved in the GRP-NDF negotiation. Kilala siyang isang labor leader, isang mass leader. Kilala siya at hindi niya gagawin na parang sanggano na naglalakad na may baril sa Maynila at yun ang kanilang basis for charging him," said Pastores.
Baylosis' son, Antonio, noted that this was not the first time his father was illegally detained, having been incarcerated also for "planted" firearms and explosives in the 90s.
He is hopeful though that the truth will come out and his father will be freed.
"Sana mapagtrabahuhan natin na lumabas ang katotohanan at magkaroon ng hustisya," he said.