GPH Chief Negotiator speaks with a forked tongue

Fidel V. Agcaoili
NDF - Negotiating Panel
September 8, 2011

Alexander Padilla, chairman of the negotiating panel of the Government of the Philippines (GPH, formerly designated as the GRP), speaks with a forked tongue. He agrees to have his panel hold the next round of formal talks with the negotiating panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Oslo in October. But at the same time, he says something else that makes impossible such formal talks.

He denies the obligation of the GPH to release the JASIG-protected persons from prison in accordance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) by saying that the GPH or he is merely “open to releasing said persons but is not giving any assurances”.

Even now, he is practically blocking the possibility of formal talks. There can be no formal talks if the GPH does not release all or most of the JASIG-protected persons that should have been released before June 2011. The releases must be made three weeks before the formal talks so that both negotiating panels and the third party facilitator have ample time to prepare.

The Aquino regime is condoning and continuing the violations of the JASIG and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). It continues to keep in prison the JASIG-protected persons and the 350 other political prisoners whose human rights have been violated since the time of the Arroyo regime.#