“The Party denounces the gross inhumane treatment of the elderly revolutionaries who have lived lives in service of the oppressed and exploited masses.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned the arrest of retired National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant, Ruben Abenir Saluta, 75, in Doña Soledad, Barangay Labangal, General Santos City.
Saluta was arrested on January 29 along with his wife, Presentacion, and a female companion Yvonne Losaria.
“The Party denounces the gross inhumane treatment of the elderly revolutionaries who have lived lives in service of the oppressed and exploited masses,” the revolutionary group said.
Based on reports, Saluta and the two women were charged with murder and rebellion. Authorities claimed they seized weapons, among others, from the three.
But the CPP asserted the pieces of evidence were planted.
“Saluta, who is frail and suffering from hypertension, as well as from chronic pulmonary disease, has long retired from active duty since being released from imprisonment after cases against him and his wife were dismissed from 2016 to 2019,” the CPP said in a statement.
They added that Presentacion also suffers from hypertension and heart disease.
Saluta was among the peace consultants who were released in 2016 to participate in peace negotiation. He was arrested in March 2015 on charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. In June 2018, the court ruled in favor of Saluta and his companions after the court found “serious doubt in the prosecution evidence and in their chain of custody” of the seized firearms.
In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte unilaterally terminated the peace talks and ordered the arrest of peace consultants. (RTS, RVO)