[Bulatlat.com] MANILA – The chairperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panel has been slapped with criminal charges.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) filed charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention and violation of Republic Act No. 9851 or Crime against Humanitarian Law and other Crimes against Humanity against Luis Jalandoni for facilitating the release of four policemen captured by the New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas on July 10, 2014. The Surigao fiscal issued a subpoena against Jalandoni dated January 28, 2015.
Jalandoni issued an order of release in the name of the NDFP leadership, which explicitly states that the release was being ordered on humanitarian grounds and as a goodwill and confidence-building measure to pave the way for the resumption of formal peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the NDFP.
In a statement, Jose Maria Sison, NDFP chief political consultant, said, “It is reprehensible that the Aquino regime is acting viciously and maliciously by violating the safety and immunity guarantees that protect Luis Jalandoni and by misrepresenting as a crime the facilitation done by Jalandoni to help realize the humanitarian act and goodwill measure of the NDFP in causing the release of the four policemen and seeking to improve the atmosphere for the resumption of formal talks in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.”
Sison pointed out that GPH representatives such as Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Hernani Braganza sought the help of Jalandoni for the release of the four policemen. He added that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles were with Roxas during the release of the said policemen in July 2014.
The Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig), signed by both parties in February 1995, provides safety and immunity guarantees to all participants in the peace negotiations.
Since the 1990s, Jalandoni has visited the Philippines a number of times for peace consultations and family visits under the protection of the Jasig. Sison said Jalandoni met and conversed with Presidents Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo.
Sison said as authorized representative of the NDFP, Jalandoni has been facilitating the safe and orderly release of personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP in the custody of the NPA as prisoners of war.
Sison said “the Aquino regime has emerged as the worst violator of the Jasig by harassing Jalandoni with an invalid and improperly served subpoena and threatening to arrest and imprison him on trumped up charges of non-bailable common crimes.”
Sison lamented that the attack on the NDFP and Jalandoni happened at a time when exploratory talks are supposedly underway.
Sison said that in order for the GPH and NDFP to engage in exploratory talks, the Aquino regime should respect the Jasig and allow the safe passage of Jalandoni to his negotiating post and office in The Netherlands.
Another consultant nabbed
In a related development, another NDFP consultant was arrested Monday, June 1, in Molino, Bacoor, Cavite.
According to human rights alliance Karapatan, Adelberto Silva, 67, is a holder of Jasig documentation of identification with the assumed named “Percival Rojo.” His wife, Rosanna Cabusao, and another companion, Isidro De Lima, were also arrested by some 30 members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police (CIDG-PNP). Cabusao is a researcher and consultant of the Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center and a founding member of Gabriela.
Silva reportedly was charged with numerous “fabricated”criminal cases of murder and frustrated/attempted murder in the courts in Aparri, Cagayan and Laoang, Northern Samar.
According to Karapatan, there are 17 NDFP consultants arrested and detained in various jails. They are among the 527 political prisoners in the country.
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said the arrest of Silva shows “how the GPH continues to undermine the peace process by disregarding the Jasig and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).”