Thursday, June 8, 2023

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    Daughters of detained NDFP Peace Consultants to testify in International Tribunal

    Daughters of peace consultants Rafael Baylosis and Ferdinand Castillo will testify before the
    International Peoples’ Tribunal charging Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte with rights
    violations against the Filipino people, to be held September 18-19 in Brussels, Belgium.

    Eleanor de Guzman and Belle Castillo, daughters of Baylosis and Castillo, respectively, will testify
    on the arbitrary arrest and detention of their fathers and other political prisoners in the Philippines, in the charge of violation of civil and political rights.

    Baylosis served as consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in the peace
    negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. He was involved in the whole process of formulating the NDFP’s Proposal for the Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms, which was still under negotiations when Duterte botched the peace process.

    De Guzman will also raise the case of her husband Maoj Maga, and other activists who were arrested
    following Duterte’s declaration of a crackdown against activists. She puts to task the Inter Agency
    Committee on Legal Action for manufacturing criminal charges against activists.

    “My father is a peace consultant, my husband is a trade union organizer, and they have dedicated
    their lives in the service of the Filipino masses. They just want meaningful changes for our country. They are not criminals. Activists are not criminals,” De Guzman said.

    There are 509 political prisoners in the Philippines, including 47 women and 118 sickly, who face
    common criminal charges.

    Belle Castillo laments the detention of his father who suffers from heart disease and other illnesses.
    “We long for the freedom of our loved ones. Charges against political prisoners should be dropped,
    and they should all be released on just grounds,” Castillo said.

    De Guzman and Castillo maintain that the arrest and detention of their fathers violate the Joint
    Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) which covers peace consultants, the
    Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law
    (CARHRIHL) and the Hernandez Doctrine on political offense.

    Find out more about the Tribunal

    Follow the proceedings of the Tribunal

    Eleanor de Guzman
    [email protected]

    Belle Castillo
    [email protected]

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