Consultants’ Expected Release Crucial to Resumption of Peace Talks

Most local courts have already issued favorable orders granting the parallel motions for release on bail for nineteen (18) detained peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and protected persons under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and two political prisoners for humanitarian release. 

#FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners

The urgent motions were filed through defense counsels of the political prisoners, after the Supreme Court resolution on the release of those who will participate in the opening of the formal peacetalks between the NDFP and Philippines government this August 20-27, 2016 in Oslo, Norway. 

Earlier, the GRP Panel, through the Office of the Solicitor General, filed the Urgent Manifestation and Motion for the issuance of orders to various trial courts to issue orders of conditional release to specified members of the NDF panel. In the resolution of the SC on August 2, 2016, it stated that “appropriate motions and pleadings should be filed for consideration of the trial courts.” According to the SC, the concerned regional trial courts where charges were filed against the political prisoners shall give the “appropriate priority to hearings of such motions and manifestations.” 

“Since public prosecutors & the Solicitor General did not object, we expect all the other courts to issue today similar orders granting said motions so that the travel documents of the consultants can be processed immediately,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General. 

The following consultants/political prisoners through their counsels from the Public Interest Law Center (PILC), National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM), as well as the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) & private lawyers have filed their motions so they can participate in the formal resumption of the peace talks in Oslo: 

 

  1. Alcantara, Tirso
  2. Arbitrario, Ariel
  3. Baleros, Renato Sr.
  4. Bangibang, Kennedy
  5. Birondo, Alexander
  6. Birondo, Winona
  7. Bocala, Ma. Concepcion Araneta
  8. Codaste, Pedro 
  9. Friginal, Edgardo
  10. Gamara, Renante
  11. Genelsa, Edie
  12. Jazmines, Alan
  13. Lorenzo, Ernesto
  14. Magpatoc, Loida
  15. Mapano, Alfredo
  16. Saluta, Ruben
  17. Silva, Adelberto
  18. Tiamzon, Benito
  19. Tiamzon, Wilma
  20. Tuna, Porferio

 

Jaime Soledad, a Jasig-protected person detained at the Ormoc City Jail, was acquitted from trumped up murder charges last week. 

“We hope all of them will be released starting tomorrow and that all other local courts immediately grant the motions and issue orders of release on bail. The participation of the consultants for National Democratic Front of the Philippines is crucial to the formal peace talks,” Palabay said. 

“All charges they face are trumped up. Thus, the withdrawal of the fabricated charges against them and all political prisoners should be the next step to effect their unconditional release,” Palabay concluded.

 

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