We, NDFP peace consultants detained in Camp Bagong Diwa (Adelberto Silva, Alan Jazmines, Eduardo Serrano, Ruben Saluta, Tirso Alcantara, Ernesto Lorenzo and Loida Magpatoc) appreciated much the 6 Dec. visit and meeting with us of two RNG ambassadors (Elizabeth Slattum, Special Envoy of the RNG, and Kristian Netland, 1st Secretary of the RNG embassy).
We expressed appreciation that, as a 3rd party facilitator, the RNG has been supporting the NDFP-GRP/GPH peace talks that has been on and off for some 15 years now, and running. Our appreciation has been more so, as we recognized from our discussions with them, that the RNG continues with enthusiasm its commitment to support the NDFP-GRP/GPH peace talks — even in the face of several snags in the peace talks, even as we realistically assessed that there is very little chance now that the present ruling regime would still pursue the NDFP-GRP/GPH peace talks, and even as the present ruling regime is still trying to obtain congressional approval for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
We expressed our negative view of the small-minded attitude of the present Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser in the Peace Process and the head of the GRP/GPH peace panel, and their insistence that the talks should only center on tactical issues “doables”, and not dwell on fundamental issues and substantive changes.
We shared a view, however, that the front-running candidates in the forthcoming presidential elections are all eager to seriously pursue the continuation of the NDFP-GRP/GPH peace talks, and hope that there should be major changes towards the better under the next regime.
The RNG ambassadors also shared with us the positive prospects of peace talks in Colombia, despite the long period of snags in the talks there.
We also discussed the status of detained NDFP peace consultants & other political prisoners and shared with them the ff:
- the problem of the ruling GRP/GPH’s continuing to hold in jail 18 NDFP peace consultants, with hardly any move to respect the JASIG, CARHRHIL & other peace agreements.
- the GRP/GPH’s using trumped-up criminalized charges to keep peace consultants & other political prisoners in jail, in violation of the Hernandez Doctrine
- the snail’s pace of court cases, resulting in practically indefinte detention of NDFP peace consultants & other political prisoners.
- the issue of the Kangaroo court convictions of 3 NDFP peace consultants (Eduardo Sarmiento, Emiterio Antalan & Leopoldo Caloza).
- the continuing failure to effect the release of jailed NDFP peace consultants and political prisoners (some 350 during the GMA regime and more than 500 political prisoners under the present regime, despite denials that there presently are political prisoners in the country)
- congested jails, serious health problems, stealing of food budget, threats by criminal prison gangs & terrorists, highly restrictive & repressive conditions in maximum security or special intensive care jails, where most prisoners have already been suffering a decade or even more of unjust and illegal detention.
- information about supposed plans to transfer NDFP peace consultants and other political prisoners to an even more restrictive & repressive “super jail”.
Despite these conditions, there remains enthusiasm in the face of positive prospects for the NDFP-GRP/GPH peace talks, and the RNG’s continuing support for it.
Adelberto Silva | Alan Jazmines | Eduardo Serrano | Ernesto Lorenzo | Ruben Saluta | Tirso Alcantara | Loida Magpatoc