By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has repeatedly warned the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines/Government of the Philippines (GRP/GPH) since 1997 that the NDFP will consider as just cause for termination of the peace negotiations the failure of GRP/GPH to indemnify the 9,539 class suit members and 24 direct action plaintiffs who won their case in the Human Rights Litigation Against the Estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos (MDL No. 840, CA No. 88-0390) in the US Federal District Court of Honolulu, Hawaii.
This is reflected in Article 5 of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), signed in 1998 between the GRP-NDFP which states:
The Parties hereby respect and support the rights of the victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime taking into consideration the final judgment of the United States Federal Court System in the Human Rights Litigation Against Marcos, Senate Resolution 1640, Swiss Supreme Court Decision of 10 December 1997; and pertinent provisions of the U.N. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1984 U.N. Convention Against Torture.
Should there be any settlement, the GRP shall also execute with the duly authorized representatives of the victims a written instrument to implement this Article and guide the satisfaction of the claims of said victims, with regard to the amount and mode of compensation, which shall be the most direct and quickest possible to every victim or heir in accordance with the relevant Swiss Supreme Court decisions.
In case of any settlement outside of US jurisdiction, all or the majority of said victims shall determine their representation by power of attorney.
It is also manifested in Number 6 of the Oslo Joint Statement signed on 14 February 2004 by the GRP and NDFP and attested to by the Royal Norwegian Government as Third Party Facilitator, as well as in Number 5 of the Second Oslo Joint Statement signed on 3 April 2004 by the two Parties and attested to by the Royal Norwegian Government as Third Party Facilitator.
The warning has been explicitly stated in various statements by the Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel and Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP, that depriving the 9,539 class suit members and 24 direct action plaintiffs of justice and indemnification is a casus belli.
Section 17 of the Human Rights Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 or Republic Act 10368 on Conclusive Presumption That One Is An HRVV (human rights violations victims) Under This Act, states: “The claimants in the class suit and direct action plaintiffs in the Human Rights Litigation Against the Estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos (MDL No. 840, CA No. 88-0390) in the US Federal District Court of Honolulu, Hawaii wherein a favorable judgment has been rendered, shall be extended the conclusive presumption that they are HRVVs…”
Because of the failure of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB), especially its Chairperson, to exercise due diligence in the performance of its functions under Republic Act 10368, it has failed to secure a court certified copy of the original list of 9,539 class suit members and 24 direct action plaintiffs. This failure has led to so much confusion, aggravation and problems for the human rights victims.
In this regard, the NDFP warns anew the GRP/GPH against preventing the recognition and reparation of thousands of human rights victims from the 9,539 class suit members and 24 direct action plaintiffs who won their case in the Human Rights Litigation Against the Estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos (MDL No. 840, CA No. 88-0390) in the US Federal District Court of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Such offense against the human rights victims violates the CARHRIHL, the Oslo Joint Statements, and the conclusive presumption evidence provision in Republic Act 10368. It will destroy the peace negotiations between the GRP/GPH and the NDFP. And the Aquino regime shall be responsible for the destruction of the peace negotiations.