A few hours before they were arrested on their way home, peace consultant Rey Claro Casambre and wife Patricia Cora Casambre had attended the program at UP celebrating the life of S&T friend, Rolando Peña, chair of the Geology Board of Examiners.
Both studied at the University of the Philippines as scholars of the National Science Development Board (now DOST) — Patricia, Mathematics, 1966; and, Rey, Physics, 1971, respectively. Patricia taught Mathematics first at UP Tarlac and later at UP Baguio; Rey, taught Physics at UP Baguio after a short stint at the facilities of the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission in Diliman. Both participated in the first National Conference on the State of Science and Technology in the Philippines in UP Baguio in 1971. When arrested on the evening of December 6, both have been working at the Philippine Peace Center (https://philpeacecenter.wordpress.com/) .
Rey is the Executive Director while Cora works as translator and researcher.
They are long-time peace advocates who have closely monitored the peace process between the GRP and NDFP. Rey has been a frequent speaker in many fora organized by groups pushing for the peace talks. He has also granted media interviews on the same issue.
Here is an excerpt from the report of online news magazine www.bulatlat.com: “Casambre and the six others were charged with murder, according to a copy of a warrant of arrest furnished by Casambre’s lawyer. The warrant, issued on Nov. 23 by Judge Emilio Dayanghirang III of Lupon Regional Trial Court Branch 32, states that Casambre and the six others ” are said to be found to be in barangay Maragatas, Lupon, Davao Oriental.”
The Casambre couple is also charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives. The PNP-CIDG claimed that the following weapons were recovered in the couple’s vehicle: one (1) colt commander caliber 45 pistol; one magazine for cal. 45; seven live ammunition for cal. 45; one bundle electric detonating cord; and one fragmentation grenade.”
Free the Casambres! Free All Political Prisoners!
December 8, 2018
Another peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) was illegally arrested on the evening of December 7, 2018. Peace consultant Rey Casambre, 67, was arrested along with his wife, Patricia Cora Casambre, 72, while on their way home in Cavite. Both were brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City. Rey Casambre is the 7th NDFP peace consultant arrested under the Duterte regime.
Rey Casambre is also the executive director of the Philippine Peace Center and is supposedly covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), an agreement that seeks to provide protection and “free and unhindered” passage for individuals involved in the peace negotiations. Said agreement also provides immunity for peace consultants and staff from “surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive actions.” Please check this link for more information on JASIG: http://www.karapatan.org/FREQUENTLY+ASKED+QUESTIONS+ON+THE+JASIG
“Rey and Cora Casambre are peace advocates. Rey Casambre worked and contributed tirelessly in the peace talks over the course of different administrations, while Cora supported many human rights and peace campaigns and initiatives. These advocates believed in peace based on justice, and they have dedicated their lives at finding solutions to the root causes of armed conflict in the country. Duterte has made a 180 degree turn regarding his attitude on the peace negotiations, influenced by militarists and warmongers in his Cabinet. This is indicative of the Duterte regime’s choice for a militarist, fascist response. Ito ay tanda ng pagiging utak-militarista ni Duterte,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
Palabay emphasized that the same modus operandi used to arrest other peace consultants such as Vicente Ladlad, Adelberto Silva and Rafael Baylosis, is now being employed against the Casambres. A warrant of arrest for trumped up charges of murder and attempted murder, issued on November 23, 2018, was used as basis for Casambre’s arrest, while additional charges based on planted evidence of firearms and explosives are being prepared.
“This is all in keeping with their legal offensive, subsequent to the operation of the Inter Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA). We see connivance between government security forces and the courts to criminalize peace advocates. This is now becoming a trend, to feign legality amid the deliberate political persecution of known critics and activists genuinely working for change,” explained Palabay.
“We continue to call for the resumption of the peace talks because with the substantial progress it has achieved with drafts on socioeconomic reforms already at the table. From the very start, we do not subscribe to the notion that achieving peace is as simplistic as signing a ceasefire agreement. Peace must be based on social justice, and thus would need holistic and substantial, yet realistic reforms in our political and economic system. Free Rey and Cora Casambre! Free all political prisoners! Resume the peace talks!” ended Palabay.
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, +639173162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
A BLEAK TIME FOR PEACE
December 7, 2018
We are shocked by the incomprehensibly brazen human rights violations that marked the arrests of Rey Casambre and his wife, Cora, as they were heading home last night, December 6, 2018 from a wake. Casambre is a longtime peace advocate and head of the Philippine Peace Center, an institution committed to peace advocacy.
As such, he had significantly contributed to the peace process by way of his incisive analysis of issues surrounding the peace negotiations. He is often a resource person for different media outlets and is a publicly known participant in the peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP.
Delivered in a language easily understood by ordinary people, his contributions to the peace process, has had no other impact but to rally the participation of the primary stakeholders – labor, peasant leaders, activists and human rights defenders, in the discourse.
Thus, we cannot help but believe that he is being persecuted precisely for his involvement in the peace process, by a government that seems no longer interested in peace but only wishes to wage a brutal war against the people.
We find the charges being attributed to Rey and Cora outrageous. Both are senior citizens and are known peace advocates. The so-called charges of murder, frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms are not at all true and defy common sense.
We demand their immediate release and a stop to the persecution of peace consultants and activists.
It is a bleak time for peace as a reign of terror is engulfing the whole country, with attacks on human rights taking a toll on human rights defenders, community leaders and peace advocates. The intent is to silence dissent, and thereby eventually deprive the people of their capacity to resist government polices that are detrimental to their interests, and the interest of our nation as a whole. #
Reference: Bishop Reuel N.O. Marigza,
Pilgrims for Peace 09283854123
NDFP CONDEMNS ARREST OF CASAMBRE COUPLE
Fidel V. Agcaoili
NDFP Negotiating Panel
December 7, 2018
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) vehemently condemns the arrest last night of Rey Claro Casambre, executive director of the Philippine Peace Center and his wife Cora as they were on the way home to Molino, Cavite.
Casambre was arrested on trumped-up murder and frustrated murder charges related to an incident in Lupon, Davao Oriental on September 13, 2018. Also in the charge sheet and currently experiencing intense harassment and surveillance are others who have assisted the NDFP negotiating panel in various capacities as resource persons, writers, researchers and staff during the peace negotiations.
As was done to the other arrested NDFP consultants, the arresting team planted firearms, ammunition and explosives in the Casambres’ vehicle to ensure their prolonged and unjust detention.
Casambre is the fourth NDFP consultant active in the peace negotiations to be arrested this year. A long-time peace advocate who has closely monitored and conducted extensive research on the Philippine peace process, Casambre was a frequent speaker in fora organized by multi-sectoral groups calling for the resumption of the peace negotiations.
He also often granted interviews to the media on issues related to the peace talks. The Duterte regime’s unjust arrest of Casambre on ludicrous charges virtually closes the doors to any possibility of resuming the peace negotiations with the Duterte regime. To ensure the smooth resumption of the formal peace talks, the detained peace consultants should be released immediately.#
On the arrest of NDFP consultant Rey Casambre and Corazon Casambre
Communist Party of the Philippines
December 7, 2018
The Communist Party of the Philippines vehemently condemns the arrest of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Rey Claro Casambre and activist Corazon Casambre by combined elements of the police and military in Cavite, past midnight last night.
The arrest grossly violates Rey Casambre’s rights under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) between the GRP and the NDFP.
To justify the arrest of the Casambres, PNP operatives shamelessly planted guns and explosives and filed patently trumped-up charges of murder and attempted murder in Davao Oriental.
The arrest of the Casambres form part of Duterte’s worsening fascist clampdown and de facto martial law rule to suppress the democratic groups and all opposition forces in a vain attempt to silence the Filipino people and make them submit to his tyrannical rule.
More attacks against the legal democratic mass movement are imminent. The Casambres’ arrest follow that of NDFP consultants Adelberto Silva and Vicente Ladlad and their companions over the past several weeks.
Earlier this year, police also arrested and incarcerated Rafael Baylosis adding to several peace consultants of the NDFP in detention.
Casambre, Silva, Ladlad and Baylosis are among the 600 names of activists and political personalities included in the proscription case against the CPP and NPA pending before the courts. Their arrest form part of the ongoing suppression campaign in line with Duterte’s National Internal Security Plan with the aim of crushing the revolutionary armed movement and all mass struggles in order to manipulate the outcome of the 2019 elections and push his scheme to establish a fascist dictatorship.