REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City, Metro Manila FIFTEENTH CONGRESS Second Regular Session House Resolution No.

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Introduced by Kabataan Partylist Representative RAYMOND V. PALATINO, Bayan Muna Partylist Representatives TEDDY A. CASINO and NERI J. COLMENARES, Anakpawis Partylist Representative RAFAEL "KA PAENG" V. MARIANO, Gabriela Women's Party Representatives LUZ C. ILAGAN and EMMI A. DE JESUS, and ACT Teachers Partylist Representative ANTONIO L. TINIO

A RESOLUTION URGING THE GOVERNMENT TO IMMEDIATELY RELEASE THE THIRTEEN DETAINED PEACE CONSULTANTS AND INDIVIDUALS PROTECTED BY THE JOINT AGREEMENT ON SAFETY AND IMMUNITY GUARANTEES IN COMPLIANCE WITH ITS OBLIGATIONS AND IN ORDER TO RESUME THE INDEFINETELY SUSPENDED PEACE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES WHEREAS, the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which resumed in February 2011 in Oslo, Norway after almost seven years of deadlock, have hit another impasse and have been indefinitely suspended by the GPH, through GPH Panel Chair Alexander Padilla, due to the refusal of the GPH to release the thirteen detained NDFP peace consultants and individuals protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG); WHEREAS, the JASIG, signed by the GPH and the NDFP in 1995, lays down principles and modalities for safety and immunity guarantees for the personnel, consultants and other people involved in the formal peace negotiations. It provides for the free and unhindered passage and travel of negotiators, consultants and other personnel of both peace panels and protects them from surveillance, harassment, searches, arrest, detention, prosecution, interrogation and other similar action; WHEREAS, the immediate release of the peace consultants and JASIGprotected individuals is being demanded as a matter of legal right in accordance with the JASIG and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and

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International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), a document signed in 1998 which states that both parties shall adhere to and be bound by the principles and standards embodied in international instruments on human rights; WHEREAS, according to the GPH-NDFP joint communique released after the preliminary talks in January 2011, "the GPH Panel agreed to work for the expeditious release of detained NDFP consultants and other JASIG-protected persons in compliance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees and in the spirit of goodwill." WHEREAS, as of November 2011, the GPH has yet to release thirteen of the NDFP consultants and JASIG-protected individuals being held by the government on grounds that their identities could not be verified, even as some of these consultants and JASIG-protected persons already have identification documents and are, in fact, publicly known individuals and have been identified by the previous administration; WHEREAS, the success of the peace negotiations hinges on the mutual trust and on the commitment of both parties to the negotiations including their compliance with the twelve important agreements since peace negotiations resumed in 1992 which include the CARHRIHL and the JASIG. For the peace talks to move forward, the parties involved, especially the principals, must work towards the attainment of an atmosphere of mutual respect which can be best expressed through the recognition and implementation of past and future signed agreements; WHEREAS, aside from the the JASIG and the CARHRIHL, the GPH Negotiating Panel has undermined other past agreements, particularly the Hague Declaration, posing a consequent threat to the peace negotiations. The GPH Negotiating Panel declared in its qualifications that the "Hague Joint Declaration is only a means to an end and was never meant to be a document of perpetual division between the parties." This violates and contradicts an earlier Joint Statement dated March 9, 2001, where it is stated that "The Parties uphold and affirm the validity and binding character of the ten bilateral agreements that were entered into between them from 1 September 1992 to 7 August 1998 as the framework and foundation for the resumption of the peace negotiations"; WHEREAS, The Hague Declaration, which was signed on September 1, 1992, states that "The holding of peace negotiations must be in accordance with mutually acceptable principles, including national sovereignty, democracy and social justice and no precondition shall be made to negate the inherent character and purpose of the peace negotiations"; WHEREAS, the resumption of peace talks is an issue that concerns all Filipino 2

citizens, who are the main stakeholders in the peace negotiations, as it is an opportune venue in which long-standing conflicts, particularly their root causes and concrete solutions, can be best put into perspective; WHEREAS, negotiating table must be re-opened in order to pave the way for critical and principled debates and sound discussions on socio-economic reforms that would benefit the broad masses of Filipinos and would address the social, political and economic ills that fan the flames of armed rebellion and social unrest in the country; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives, as a gesture of justice and goodwill and in the spirit of upholding the rule of law, urge the National Government to immediately release the thirteen detained peace consultants and individuals protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees in compliance with its obligations and in order to resume the indefinitely suspended peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Adopted,

HON. RAY^ICID V. PALATINO Representative, Kabataan Partylist

4-.. Cam, HON. TEDDY A. CASINO Representative, Bayan Muna Partylist

MAR NO HON. RAFAEL'KA PAE Rtative, Anakpawis Partyl' t

HON. LUZ C. ILAGAN Representative, Gabriela Women's Party

HON. AN 10 L. TINIO Representative, ACT Teachers Partylist

HON. EMMI A. E JESUS Representative, Gabriela Women's Party

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