Padilla Makes a Fool of Himself on JASIG

By Fidel V. Agcaoili
Spokesperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
30 August 2011
In declaring the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) “inoperative”, Atty. Alex Padilla, Chairperson of the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Philippines (GPH, formerly designated as the GRP), has practically terminated the JASIG without the required issuance of a notice of termination by the GPH principal.
He brazenly violates the JASIG and spits on the signature of the GPH principal.  He usurps the authority of his principal and steps on his head.  He is unleashing a surprise attack by removing the safety and immunity guarantees for the protection of persons involved in the peace negotiations and by emboldening the armed agents of the GPH to attack them.
The JASIG has been duly approved by the principals of both parties (Fidel V. Ramos and Mariano Orosa on 25 April 1995 and 10 April 1995, respectively) in the peace negotiations between the GPH/GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).  It can only be terminated by written notice of either principals as was done by Joseph Estrada on 31 May 1999.
The JASIG protects not only the holders of Document of Identification (DI) of the NDFP but also those publicly-known to be involved in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations as negotiators, consultants, staff, researchers, security personnel and couriers of both sides.  Moreover, the JASIG makes possible the peace negotiations which can be ended only when any principal decides to terminate the JASIG by issuing the required notice of termination 30 days in advance before it takes effect.
Padilla is determined to end the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.  As a lawyer, he should know that encrypted photographs are photographs.  He also knows that encrypting these is dictated by security considerations and the verification of these photographs is not mandatory in the JASIG as he himself and his predecessors, Howard Dee and Silvestre Bello III, have done.
Padilla is indeed a fool for failing to know and respect the full scope and terms of the JASIG
despite his being a lawyer and the GPH chief negotiator.  He is killing the peace negotiations by blocking the release of all or most of the JASIG-protected persons in violation of the JASIG and the 2011 Oslo joint statements.
Compliance with signed agreements is an absolute requirement in any peace negotiations.  It puts the sincerity of the parties to the test.  OPAPP Secretary Deles and Padilla are completely destroying the prospect of a just peace through negotiations by attacking and seeking to nullify The Hague Joint Declaration and the JASIG.