KARAPATAN welcomes the release of the NPA’s prisoners; Calls for the immediate resumption of GPH-NDFP talks

“The release of Mayor Mayor Henry Dano of Lingig, Surigao del Sur, his two military escorts and the PNP/BJMP guards is a welcome gesture on the part of the NPA that should push the peace talks forward,” said Jigs Clamor, Deputy Secretary General of Karapatan. 

Karapatan also looks forward to Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s release of political prisoners “as a sign of reciprocity” on the part of the GPH.  “The GPH should release most, if not all, of the 13 JASIG-protected NDF consultants. This will give impetus for the resumption of the talks,” added Clamor. 

The peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP was postponed several times since it resumed last February. As in the Arroyo regime, the Aquino government’s inability to release political prisoners and observe JASIG was the stumbling block for the continuation of the talks. According to Karapatan, the GPH has clearly reneged on its February 2011 commitment “to undertake steps for the release of prisoners and detainees.”  

Clamor said that the GPH’s Atty. Alex Padilla even “declared unilaterally that JASIG is inoperative, an apparent disregard of the JASIG that was already operational since 1995.”  

Karapatan underscores the importance of JASIG because “the NDF consultants’ concern for their safety is real. To date, there are 11 consultants who are missing, 1 killed and 13 are still in jail because of trumped up charges,” said Clamor. 

Karapatan also calls for the immediate release of the sick and elderly political prisoners in different jails all-over the country. “The release of political prisoners is not only a confidence building measure for the talks to resume but a matter of justice for those who were wronged,” said Clamor.  ###


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