Joma Sison blasts arrest order on Tiamzons

April Rafales, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2018 11:57 PM

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison on Friday said the arrest warrants against its peace negotiators violate a joint agreement between the government and the National Democratic Front.

"The GRP (Government of the Republic of Philippines) violates the JASIG and does not respect its own signature on solemn agreements. It does not generate trust and confidence but the opposite," he said in a message sent to ABS-CBN.

The Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) JASIG is a key agreement between the government and the NDF which guarantees the legal immunity of rebel peace negotiators. 

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza earlier said the JASIG is deemed no longer in effect because the government has terminated peace talks with communist rebels.

Following the termination of the peace talks, Sison said Reds are raring to fight back.

"The Duterte regime relies too much on brute force and intimidation and unwittingly incites the people and revolutionary forces to fight back," he said.

On Wednesday, Manila RTC Branch 32 issued arrest warrants against NDF political consultants Benito Tiamzon, his wife Wilma Tiamzon, and Adelerto Silva.

Benito is identified as the chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples' Army while his wife is the group's alleged secretary-general.

The three are facing murder charges over the killing of 15 civilians in Leyte province. 

The Tiamzons were arrested in 2014, but were granted temporary freedom to be able to participate in the peace talks in Oslo, Norway in 2016.

In 2017, Duterte issued Proclamation No. 360 that revoked the peace negotiations with NDF.

Sison said the Duterte administration has terminated the peace negotiations, "and undertaken priorly and subsequently other acts to escalate a counterrevolutionary war against the people and the revolutionary forces."

NDF legal consultant Edre Olalia, in an interview with ABS-CBN, said they have not received a notice that official terminates the peace talks.

Sison said the GRP is obliged to respect the JASIG, which requires a 30-day written notice in advance to NDF to give safety allowance to negotiators, consultants, and staff.

It also requires both the GRP and NDF to comply with the immunity guarantees for the aforesaid negotiating personnel of either side during and after the peace negotiations.

"Said personnel should not be targeted for any surveillance, harassment, and punitive action," Sison said.

Asked for their next plan, he said the NDF will still be working closely with peace advocates for the resumption of peace talks either during Duterte's term or his successor.

Sison also said the CPP-NPA are considering asking for a "warrant" from their "revolutionary court" for the arrest of Duterte for allegedly sabotaging the peace negotiations.