DOJ: Tiamzon couple can't invoke JASIG

Posted at Mar 24 2014 02:40 PM | Updated as of Mar 24 2014 10:40 PM

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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday said the Tiamzon couple cannot use the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as their defense because it has no effect on their standing warrants of arrest.

Under JASIG, which was signed by the government and the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front) way back in 1995, people participating in peace talks are immune from arrests.

Benito Tiamzon is the chairman of CPP-NPA while his wife Wilma is the secretary-general.

The NDF has asserted that the Tiamzon couple is covered by JASIG but the government panel insists otherwise.

De Lima said the JASIG is only effective if there are ongoing peace talks, which is not the case.

She said the couple's criminal cases have nothing to do with the peace process.

The Tiamzon couple is facing cases of murder, multiple murder and frustrated murder before the regional trial court in Northern Samar.

- ANC Dateline Philippines, 24 March 2014