Peace talks hampered as detained NDFP consultant forcibly transfered

Political detainee and NDFP consultant Alan Jazmines was transferred in the wee hours of the morning and was not allowed to call his lawyer.

By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Luis Jalandoni, chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the peace negotiations with the Government of the Philippines (GPH), said the prospects of the peace talks resuming next year are dampened by what he said was “the treacherous and forcible transfer of NDFP Consultant Alan Jazmines from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan.”

According to reports, Jazmines was transferred in the wee hours of the morning last June 29 and was not allowed to call his legal counsel..

“This is a further gross violation of the basic rights of Alan Jazmines, who is not only an NDFP Consultant in the peace talks with the Aquino government. He is also a Member of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee for Social and Economic Reforms. This shows utter disregard of his rights guaranteed by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed by the GPH and the NDFP.Together with the brutal and inhumane treatment of NDFP Consultant Tirso Alcantara, who is kept in isolation in a Philippine Army camp for more than 18 months, and other NDFP Consultants still illegally detained, these have a serious dampening effect on prospects for the resumption of formal peace talks,” Jalandoni said.

Jalandoni said police and legal authorities should immediately explain Jazmines’ sudden, stealthy transfer.

The chairperson of Karapatan human rights group Marie Hilao-Enriquez also slammed the move, decrying “that it reeks of treachery.” She also said the head of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Etta Rosales should also take responsibility for the PNP’s action.

“We learned that she was with Supt. Cesar Magsino, chief of the PNP Custodial Center, when Jazmines was transported to Bicutan. The CHR chairperson could have at the very least facilitated Jazmines’s request to talk to his lawyers,” she said.

Previously, Karapatan submitted complaints to the CHR on the ill-treatment and increasing restrictions of political prisoners at the PNP Custodial Center and at the Fort Bonifacio Headquarters, PA Custodial Center, 191st MPBn., HHSG, PA where Tirso Alcantara, another NDF consultant, has been in solitary confinement for over a year and a half. The last, Karapatan said, was in complete violation of RA 7438, the law that stipulates the rights of a detained, accused person.

Jazmines is among the 14 peace consultants of the NDFP currently detained in various jails in the country. Ramon Patriarca, another NDFP detained consultant in Cebu experienced a similar treatment. On January 25, 2012 he was, without notice, taken straight to a military stockade in the AFP-Central Command in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Lahug, Cebu City after attending a hearing . He was not even allowed time to pack his belongings.

Hilao-Enriquez said there have already been several attempts to isolate Jazmines from his co-detainees in Camp Crame. Jazmines recently figured in the news when he wrote a letter to the Department of Justice, CHR and Karapatan saying that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintains an office inside the detention center itself and in a unit in a nearby condominium.

“The pattern of repression of political prisoners is becoming evident as shown in the case of Jazmines, Alcantara and Patriarca. For two years, Aquino has not lifted a finger to act positively on the situation of the political prisoners who are unjustly detained. He has instead allowed the plight of the political prisoners to worsen, to the point of even betraying and forgetting his own father’s sufferings in jail,” she said.

Jalandoni said that Jazmines’ exposé of the deplorable conditions of political prisoners in the Camp Crame Custodial Center and the presence there of victims of US rendition being subjected to interrogation by the FBI should be taken by the Aquino regime as a most serious reason to investigate this flagrant violation of Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“It should not be a cause for a treacherous act of reprisal that smacks of another subservient kowtowing to US hegemony. The NDFP reiterates its firm demand that the Aquino government respect and comply with the JASIG and the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). It must also pay heed to national sovereignty as one major guiding principle of the GRP/GPH-NDFP peace negotiations as stipulated in The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992,” he said. ()

Share This Post