By NDFP Negotiating Panel
In a letter to Alexander Padilla, Chairperson of the GPH Negotiating Panel, Luis Jalandoni, Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, condemned the Aquino government for raising the amount of reward money for the capture of 235 alleged wanted Communist leaders to PHP 466.88 million, through a recently issued Joint Order No. 14-2012 of the Department of National Defense and Department of Interior and Local Government (DND-DILG).
This is the second time this year that the Aquino government has jacked up the bounty money for the capture of alleged Communist leaders. The first one was in August when it announced the rewards of PHP 5.6 million each for Benito Tiamzon and Jorge Madlos.
Jalandoni demanded that the NDFP, the public and mass media be provided with a copy of the aforesaid Joint Order and even more importantly the complete list of the 235 alleged Communist leaders who are the target of the reward offer amounting to PHP 466.88, if the purpose of the Joint Order is to seek the help of the public in giving information leading to the arrest of the listed persons.
Jalandoni pointed out that so far the GPH had announced through the press only a few names in said list, including Wilma Austria who is protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees. He stressed, “To list and target our consultants is an attack on the peace process. The NDFP wants to ensure that the JASIG is respected and not violated.”
He said further, “The NDFP wants to know those names and identities in the complete list because we want to ascertain whether a judicial warrant of arrest is the basis of the listing of every one or not, and whether or not there is arbitrariness or not. Previous listings under various administrations have been characterized by a lack of prior judicial warrants of arrest and by arbitrariness.”
He warned, “The Aquino government can use the list as a death list for the use of death squads if it does not release all the listed names for public scrutiny. Keeping nearly all such names or most of the 235 names in secrecy and under the fog is a license for harassment, abductions and extrajudicial killings.”
He observed, “It is anomalous and ominous that the DND makes the joint order with the DILG. The police, not the military, are the peace officers in charge of arrests under the administration of the DILG and guidance of the Department of Justice (DOJ).”
He also demanded a copy of the previous listing of August 2012 and other such listings.
He underscored the seriousness of his protest and demand inasmuch as the bounty offer profoundly affects the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations. He urged GPH Negotiating Panel Chairperson Padilla to act expeditiously.