RESOLUTION: Calling for the immediate release of Wilma Austria and Benito Tiamzon

RESOLUTION: Calling for the immediate release of Wilma Austria Tiamzon, Benito Tiamzon, all NDFP Consultants and political prisoners, and for the resumption of the GPH-NDFP Peace Talks

Approved by the International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle

5-6 June 2014

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Whereas, Wilma Austria Tiamzon and Benito E. Tiamzon, national consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the NDFP, were arrested on March 22, 2014, together with their five companions, in Cebu province, Philippines while they were travelling to conduct intensive consultations with respect to socio-economic issues;

Whereas, after their arrest, they were brought to a military camp, they were again interrogated separately. They continually demanded their right to counsel, but this was ignored;

Whereas, Wilma told her interrogators that she is an NDFP consultant to the peace negotiations with the GPH (also a holder of the Document of Identification (DOI), which former Phil. Pres. Fidel Ramos himself can attest to. Benito also told his interrogators that he is an NDFP consultant to the peace negotiations with the GPH and a holder of the Document of Identification (DOI), and that his DOI is among his personal belongings inside the Starex van;

Whereas, several trumped up charges of common crimes were heaped upon the abovementioned peace consultants and their companions in violation of JASIG and CARHRIHL;

Whereas, the arrest and continuing detention of Wilma and Benito Tiamzon is in gross violation of The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law;

Whereas, the JASIG explicitly states that peace consultants of both the NDFP and the GPH should be protected from threats, intimidation, harassment, arrests, detention and other forms of attacks against their persons as this will impede their exercise of their roles in the peace negotiations;

Whereas, as of May 2014, there are 15 detained NDFP consultants, including Wilma and Benito Tiamzon and the recently arrested NDFP consultant Roy Erecre, who are all charged with trumped up cases;

Whereas, the continuing violation of the Philippine government of all previously signed agreements and commitments and the continuing extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in the Philippines perpetuated under the US-inspired and –driven Oplan Bayanihan are clear expressions of their lack of interest in pursuing just and lasting peace, the resolution of the root causes of the armed conflict in the Philippines, and in resuming the peace talks;

Therefore, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved that the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) will conduct extensive campaigns for the following:

  1. The immediate release of Wilma and Benito Tiamzon and all detained NDFP consultants, and all political prisoners;

  2. The resumption of the peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Philippine Government.

  3. The withdrawal of Oplan Bayanihan, the Philippine government’s counterinsurgency program, that victimizes peace consultants, human rights defenders and civilians.

Authored by: KARAPATAN
28 May 2014

 

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