Detention of Jazmines et al is a continuing violation of the JASIG

21 February 2012

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The arrest by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) of Alan Jazmines on February 14, 2011 is a grave violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). His continued detention and that of 12 other consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) aggravate GPH violations of the JASIG and do not help create conditions for the resumption of formal peace negotiations between the NDFP and the GPH.

Statements by the GPH that it has abided by the JASIG are complete falsehoods. The GPH has exaggerated the importance of verifying the identities of NDFP consultants and claims that the problem lies with the NDFP and its failure to provide proof that the detained consultants are the persons whose names are contained in a list of JASIG-protected personnel.

The GPH is merely trying to cover up its brazen violations of the JASIG, especially in the outstanding case of Jazmines' detention and arrest. When Jazmines was arrested, he presented his Document of Identification that had the reference number ND 978213 and the name Dodi Lapida. He insisted on his rights as an NDFP Peace Panel consultant enjoying immunity from arrest and detention.

The military and police personnel dismissed the JASIG and Jazmines' rights as a JASIG holder. He was immediately detained at the PNP Custodial Center and slapped with trumped-up criminal charges. This serious violation becomes graver the longer he is kept in detention. His prolonged incarceration is in violation of JASIG provisions calling for the suspension of all legal proceedings against persons covered by the agreement. On top of all this, Jazmines likewise faces persecution from abusive police officials.

The GPH must be held accountable for its refusal to free the consultants it has illegally arrested and continues to detain. It should also be held responsible for the abduction and forced disappearance of Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid, Rogelio Calubad and other key consultants of the NDFP.