NDFP hits break-ins, hold-up of consultants-A A +A
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
THE negotiating panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemned Tuesday the alleged two break-ins and hold-up of its consultants and NDFP-nominated staff in the Joint Secretariat (JS).
In a statement, Luis G. Jalandoni, chairperson of the NDFP negotiating panel, said the three victims are protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) who all play a role in the government-NDFP peace negotiations.
Jalandoni said in the evening of February 9, Rose Tumbagahon, a member of the NDFP Nominated Section of the JS, was robbed at gunpoint inside a public utility jeepney. The suspects took her bag, which contained her cellular phone, USB flash drives and the key to the JS office.
On the same night, Rey Claro Casambre, NDFP consultant, and his wife returned home to find that it had been ransacked.
Jalandoni said the suspects, who broke the door’s lock, took Casambre’s laptop, one old USB flash drive and some cash.
He said lawyer Rachel Pastores, NDFP legal consultant, also reported having lost her laptop and USB flash drives to unidentified suspects who barged into her house sometime in September 2012 while she was at the burial of lawyer Romeo T. Capulong, NDFP chief legal counsel.
“These hostile actions against persons connected with the NDFP negotiating panel and its activities in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations have all the inklings of a military intelligence operation. Though the appearance of robbery may be given, it lacks credibility in the stealing of USB flash drives which are of no monetary value,” Jalandoni said in the statement.
He said Pastores and Casambre are covered by Jasig since they are publicly known to participate in the government-NDFP peace negotiations while Tumbagahon has been issued a Document of Identification as a staff member of the NDFP-Nominated Section of the JS.
“The Aquino government is duty bound to see to it that Jasig protected persons are not subjected to surveillance, harassment or other punitive actions due to any involvement or participation in the peace negotiations. Failure to provide protection to those involved in the peace negotiations puts at risk the peace negotiations,” Jalandoni said.
He said such failure indicates that the peace negotiations with the NDFP are not a priority of the Aquino government.
“It shows no political will to advance the peace negotiations in order to address the root causes of the armed conflict,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 13, 2013.