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    Posted March 23, 2014 by

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    Phl: No violation in arrest of rebels

    THE government in a statement on Sunday maintained that there was no violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) in the arrest of top officials of the Community Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Cebu Province Saturday.
    The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) issued the statement after National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panel chief Luis Jalandoni declared that the arrest of CPP-NPA secretary general and chairman, Wilma and Benito Tiamzon, respectively, is illegal since both are covered by Jasig.
    “You will recall that both the (NDFP) and the GPH (government of the Philippines) agreed to a procedure in July 2011 to verify the true identities of several dozen alleged (NDFP) consultants in the list of Jasig–protected individuals carrying aliases,” the OPAPP statement stressed.
    “But through no fault of government, the (NPFP) failed to open their own files that purportedly contained the photos and true identities of the said NDF consultants,” it further said.
    OPAPP noted that the failure had the effect of rendering the Jasig inoperative for those using aliases and those who are not directly involved in the peace process.
    “If indeed Benito Tiamzon was listed under an alias, he is no longer covered by the Jasig,” OPAPP stated.
    “Wilma Austria Tiamzon, on the other hand, jumped bail when she escaped from detention on December 26, 1989, when there were no peace talks, and six years before the Jasig came into effect,” it added.
    OPAPP said that therefore, Mrs. Tiamzon is ineligible for Jasig protection, even assuming she was identified in the Jasig list by her real name.
    “To sustain their claim to Jasig protection is ridiculous because that would mean they can wage war and violence against government and when caught, claim Jasig protection and expect to be released. It is even more outrageous considering that the peace negotiations have not moved for over a year now,” OPAPP said.
    “And while we continue to be opened to the resumption of the talks, last December, the CPP called for the overthrow of the Aquino government, saying they will just wait for a new administration before they go back to the table,” it added.
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