On June 15, the GRP and NDFP panels held informal talks in The Hague, Netherlands.
In an e-mail interview, Sison told Bulatlat that during the informal talks, both parties agreed that the GRP would comply with the Jasig and remove impediments on the participation of some 14 NDFP consultants in the peace negotiations. These impediments, Sison said, are mostly standing arrest warrants and detention orders based on trumped-up charges.
Sison also said that in the case of detained NDFP consultants, it was agreed upon that the GRP would expedite their release using as a model the “expeditious release” of NDFP consultant Danilo Borjal in 1987.
The process of expediting the release of NDFP consultants, as in the case of Borjal in 1997, involves filing a motion before the court where the cases against them had been filed, according to Casambre.
“The defense would simply file a motion to quash, a motion to dismiss, or a motion to archive – it depends – and then the prosecution would simply refrain from objecting,” Casambre said. “Because the rules provide that if the prosecution does not object, the judge will grant the motion.”
For the legal process of expediting the release of 14 NDFP consultants who had to participate in the peace talks, Casambre said, both the GRP and NDFP panels formed legal teams. But what happened was that the GRP proposed that the matter be taken up instead before the Supreme Court.
“So Atty. Romy Capulong and the other lawyers of the NDFP asked why it has to be before the Supreme Court,” Casambre said. “Capulong also talked to Chief Justice Reynato Puno and Puno said the process would go faster if taken up before the Supreme Court. The lower courts, Puno said, might complicate matters by asking the Supreme Court for guidelines.”
“At the end of their discussion,” Casambre added, Puno told Capulong to “append the Jasig to the motion.”
Casambre also said the GRP team proposed that the peace talks be invoked in the motion to be filed before the Supreme Court. When Capulong proposed that both parties file a joint motion, the GRP team refused and insisted on filing separate motions.
“So Attorney Capulong told them, because he was already getting suspicious, to just draft the motion for the NDFP side and put there what they thought the NDFP should put there, if the NDFP side agrees, they would sign it,” Casambre said. “The GRP team refused.”
“This is the same Supreme Court that declared the MoA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain) between the GRP and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) as unconstitutional,” Casambre said. “There is a risk that if the Supreme Court acquires jurisdiction over the Jasig and the peace talks, it could also declare these as unconstitutional.”
For Sison, the gravest violation by the GRP of the June 15 agreement consist in “the maneuvers of the militarists like Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino Razon to undermine and negate” the Jasig, other bilateral agreements, and the entire peace negotiations.