By RONALYN V. OLEA
Updated Feb. 15, 8:19 p.m.
MANILA – On the eve of the resumption of formal talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), another consultant of the NDFP has been arrested.
Alan Jazmines, 63, was arrested yesterday, Feb. 14, around 6:30 p.m. by combined elements of the local police and of the 56th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) in Subic village, in Baliuag, Bulacan while consulting local residents there on the issue of peace talks, according to Fr. Diony Cabillas, secretary general of Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda).
Jazmines was initially detained at Camp Gen. Alejo Santos in Malolos, Bulacan. Cabillas, who led a quick reaction team to Malolos, Bulacan, said that authorities did not show any warrant of arrest. Later, however, Jazmines was told that he is being detained for alleged 13 counts of murder in Calauag, Quezon.
Cabillas also said that authorities only presented to them a photocopy of an alleged warrant. Cabillas said they could hardly read the content of the supposed warrant of arrest.
Jazmines has been transferred to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center inside Camp Crame, PNP national headquarters,around 4:45 p.m. today.
In a statement sent through email, Luis Jalandoni, chairman of the NDFP peace panel, maintained that Jazmines is covered by protection of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) and is a holder of a document of identification (DI) in accordance with the Jasig. Jalandoni added that Jazmines has been an NDFP consultant to the peace talks since the time of the Ramos government.
Jalandoni also said the arrest of Jazmines is an attempt by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP to disrupt the peace negotiations which are just about to be resumed on February 15 to 21, in Oslo , Norway .
“It is imperative that Jazmines be released immediately and unconditionally,” stressed Jalandoni. Jazmines must be available to participate in the next round of formal peace talks, Jalandoni further said.
Lawyer Julius Garcia Matibag, national spokesman of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) who talked to Jazmines this afternoon told Bulatlat.com that Jazmines is a holder of document of identification under the Jasig with assumed name Dodi Lapida, number 978213.
Documents of identification are issued to the negotiators, consultants, staffers, security and other personnel of both panels. Such documents, Jasig states, shall be duly recognized as safe-conduct passes.All persons with documents of identification or safe-conduct passes are guaranteed free and unhindered passage in all areas in the Philippines, and in traveling to and from the Philippines in connection with the performance of their duties in the negotiations, the Jasig states further.
Jasig also provides that upon presentation by the duly accredited person to any entity, authority or agent of the party concerned, the document of identification or safe-conduct pass shall be honored and respected and the duly accredited person shall be accorded due recognition and courtesy and allowed free and unhindered passage.
Matibag said the PNP only obtained copies of the warrants of arrest for the murder and rebellion charges against Jazmines today Feb. 15, a day after the arrest.
“The incident allegedly took place in 1992. Nineteen years has passed and the authorities only executed the warrants of arrest only now, on the eve of the resumption of peace talks,” Matibag said.
Jazmines was captured twice during the reign of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and was among communist leaders who were freed when President Corazon Aquino took power after the 1986 “people power” uprising that ousted Marcos, according to Satur Ocampo, former Bayan Muna representative.