Statements of Political Detainees Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria

Statement regarding the visit of the Commission on Human Rights
We thank Chairperson Etta Rosales and two other Commissioners of the CHR (Commission on Human Rights) for the visit on 25 March to find out if our human rights were respected during our arrest.
We emphasized to the CHR commissioners that the most important and serious issues relative to our human rights are our being framed-up, accused of fabricated charge of illegal possession of firearms and explosives and the planting of evidence to justify our illegal arrest and detention and that of our five companions in the house.
This gross violation of human rights completely negates all the efforts of CHR to initiate in the PNP and AFP the respect for human rights.  The few and trickled measures to effect in the PNP and AFP the respect for human rights are rendered inutile if the more fundamental right against illegal arrest is wantonly practiced by the whole institution and the State. This creates intense cynicism not only among the victims but also in the ranks of the police and soldiers.
The true and serious promotion of the respect for human rights is towards the welfare and aspirations of the people.  In view of this, we urge the CHR to launch an earnest campaign against the contempt for human rights of the PNP, AFP and the ruling State. ###
Reply to Mr. Alex Padilla, and with regards to the violation of the JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees)
Released on March 24, 2014
We reiterate our condemnation of our arrest as an outright violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) that gives us immunity as national consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines with NDFID No. 978226 (Wilma Austria) and NDFID No. 978227 (Benito with the name Crising Banaag).
The claim of the head of the GPH peace panel, Alex Padilla, that we are not covered by the JASIG is a warped lie.  Wilma was openly confirmed as NDFP national consultant by former GRP peace panel head Ambassador Howard Dee, as well as by Pres. Ramos when he ordered the release of Wilma Austria in 1994 as a confidence and goodwill building measure.  Meanwhile, Benito was among the original recipients of the NDFP Document of Identification and JASIG immunity, a thing that was expected and indubitable.  Whatever pretexts the GPH panel will come up with, its claim that Benito has no role in the peace process and is not covered by the JASIG is utterly farcical.
NDF consultants, like us, can significantly contribute to the peace process because of our crucial role in the struggle.  Our role in the struggle is a requisite to our role in the peace process. The involvement of the movement is inherent in a peace process; hence, the position of a few that the struggle must cease first before we participate in the peace process is unreasonable and will not help.  We believe that for the realization of a true, lasting and just peace, the pursuit of the struggle with all our might is not contrary but rather in unity with and corresponds to the peace process. ###
With regards to the allegation of the AFP that Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria are the brains behind the “anti-infiltration hysteria”                
Released on March 24, 2014
The allegation made by the PNP officer (after our statement was read) that the brains behind the anti-infiltration hysteria “kahos” were Benito and Wilma Tiamzon is a stark lie and fabrication.  This is contrary to the truth.
The “kahos” was a local campaign which was planned and started in some parts of Mindanao in 1984, at the time that Benito and Wilma were in Luzon and had no direct responsibility of the movement in Mindanao.
When the belated report on the “kahos” was received, this was immediately stopped, investigated and the error, fully rectified.
Benito and Wilma played a crucial role in leading the investigation and rectification, as well as in formulating, approving and disseminating clear and stricter rules on the investigation, trial and judgment.
The movement has a clear and strict policies and rules on the respect for human rights and democratic rights of its members and the people.  These are systematically and continuously disseminated to all.
The CARHRIHL that was signed by the NDFP and GPH reflects the stand and policies of the Party and the movement on the respect for human rights and democratic rights and the humane conduct of the armed struggle.
On the other hand, the human rights abuses of the GPH and its armed forces all the more increased and intensified.  Extrajudicial killings, which Palparan grossly propagated, massacres such as the ruthless mass killing of the peasants in Palo, Leyte continue.  Militarization, especially in the rural areas, and all the turpitude and abuses linked to it, such as illegal arrest, torture, killing, and dislocation of whole barangays and communities are widespread. ###