Release of Jazmines and NDFP consultants not a "side issue" in peace negotiations -- CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
February 14, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said that the demand for the release of Alan Jazmines and all other consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is not a "side issue" to the peace negotiations.

The CPP reiterated the demand for the release of Jazmines, who was arrested by military and police operatives exactly a year ago, in complete disregard of his standing as a JASIG-protected consultant. Jazmines, 65, has since been detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

"Advocates of peace negotiations are indeed disheartened by the claims made by the Philippine government (GPH), by its chief negotiatior Alex Padilla at that, that the release of Jazmines and other NDFP peace talks consultants in accordance with the JASIG is a simple side issue," said the CPP. The Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) was signed by the NDFP and GPH in 1995 to ensure the safety and immunity of negotiators and others involved in peace negotiations and allow a favorable atmosphere for peace talks.

"Contrary to the claims of Padilla, respect for and compliance with the JASIG have become crucial questions in peace negotiations between the NDFP and the GPH under the Aquino regime," said the CPP.

"How can the safety of the negotiators, consultants and other NDFP personnel involved in peace negotiations be a side issue? How can peace negotiations progress when the Philippine government continues to attack the NDFP's peace consultants and prevent them from performing their work in the peace negotiations," added the CPP.

"In claiming that the demand for the release of detained NDFP consultants is a "side issue", Padilla bares his total disregard of the JASIG and his complicity in the attacks carried out by the GPH and its armed forces and police against JASIG-protected personnel of the NDFP," said the CPP.

"The reactionary Philippine government has been violating with impunity the JASIG for many years," said the CPP. The CPP cited the arrest and prolonged detention of Jazmines and 12 other consultants of the NDFP, the abduction and disappearance of Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid, Rogelio Calubad and a number of other NDFP staff and peace consultants.