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AGREEMENT ON THE GROUND RULES OF THE FORMAL MEETINGS BETWEEN THE GRP AND NDFP PANELS

This Agreement is entered into by and between:

The Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Republic of the Phil­ippines, hereinafter referred to as the GRP Panel, represented herein by its Chairperson, Howard Q. Dee;

and

The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philip­pines, hereinafter referred to as the NDFP Panel, represented herein by its Chairperson, Luis G. Jalandoni.

Pursuant to due authority, the two Panels hereby agree:

ARTICLE I
GOVERNING PRINCIPLES

Section 1. In their deliberations during the formal talks and in the in­terpretation of this Agreement, the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels shall at all times conform to the letter and spirit of The Hague Joint Declaration of 1 September 1992, the pertinent provisions of the Breukelen Joint Statement of 14 June 1994, the Joint Agreement between the GRP and the NDFP on Safety and Immunity Guarantees of 24 February 1995.

ARTICLE II
CONDUCT OF PANEL NEGOTIATIONS

Section 1. Venue and Schedule of Meetings. The GRP and the NDFP Panels shall hold their formal peace negotiations in the venue previously agreed upon under Section 6, Article III of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees. The two Panels shall mutually agree on the sched­ule of meetings. There shall be reasonable time for both Panels to consult their principals before any meeting.

Section 2. Subject Matter of the Meetings. The specific agenda for a meeting shall be agreed upon by the Panels. The Panels shall exchange de­tailed proposals and/or working papers on the issues for discussion within a reasonable period of time before the meeting in which such issues shall be discussed.

Section 3. Quorum. A majority of the composition of each Panel is re­quired to be present at every meeting in order to constitute a quorum.

Section 4. Presence of Persons Other than Panel Members. The two Panel Chairpersons shall agree on the number of Advisers, Legal Counsels, Con­sultants, Secretariat staff, and security personnel, who may be present in the meeting room and in the vicinity.

Section 5. Presiding Officers. The two Panel Chairpersons shall act as co‑presiding officers for the meetings of the two Panels.

Section 6. Procedures of Formal Meetings.
a. The two Panel Chairpersons shall agree on the allocation of time for each agenda item.
b. Each Panel shall have equal time and opportunity to present its side in meetings.
c. Each Panel shall be given the opportunity to present fully, orally and/or in writing, its position, to propound questions, and to respond to the other Panel regarding any agreed agenda item.
d. When no agreement has been reached on an agenda item within a reasonable period of time, such item may be deferred for further delibera­tion. Thereafter, the two Panels may proceed to the next agenda item.

Section 7. Format of Meetings.

a. The Chairperson of each Panel shall speak on behalf of the Panel, but may designate Panel members, Advisers, Legal Counsels and Consultants to speak, when appropriate.
b. When it is the turn of one Panel to speak within its allotted time, the other Panel Chairperson or Panel members permitted by him/her may in­terpellate or respond immediately to any point, with the permission of the Chairperson of that Panel.
c. Each Panel may propose a draft on any agreed upon agenda item, which draft may become the basis for discussion and agreement.

ARTICLE III
DOCUMENTATION

Section 1. Use of Audio Documentation. Audiotaping of sessions shall be allowed, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon.

Section 2. Minutes. Each Panel shall be entitled to two documentors who shall take the minutes for their respective Panels. However, the two Panels may mutually adopt a common recording and documentation system and agree on an official record of the deliberations and minutes of the meetings. Limitations on access to or release of such records and minutes shall be mutually agreed upon by the Chairpersons of the two Panels.

ARTICLE IV
RESOURCE PERSONS

Section 1. Each Panel may avail itself of experts as Consultants, who may or may not belong to its side, to assist the Panel.

ARTICLE V
MEDIA COVERAGE

Section 1. Media coverage or the absence of it at any meeting shall be mutually agreed upon by the two Panel Chairpersons.

Section 2. The holding of joint press conferences or the issuance of joint press statements may, from time to time, be mutually agreed upon by the two Panel Chairpersons, taking into account the progress of the peace nego­tiations.

Section 3. It is the inherent right of either Panel to hold separate press conferences or interviews, and issue press statements as it may deem neces­sary or appropriate, taking into account the basic tenets of truth and fair­ness and the need to safeguard the on‑going negotiations from being jeop­ardized. The Panel Chairpersons may mutually agree on the confidentiality of sensitive issues under negotiations.

ARTICLE VI
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Applicability. The provisions of this Agreement shall apply to the formal meetings of the two negotiating Panels. All other meetings of the Panels related to the peace process shall be considered as part of the con­sultation process.
Section 2. Amendments. The two Panels may from time to time mutu­ally agree to amend, modify or supplement this Agreement as the circum­stances may require.
Section 3. Effectivity. This Agreement shall take effect upon‑the signing hereof by the Chairpersons of the two negotiating Panels.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunder signed this Agreement this 26th Day of February 1995 at the town of Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES NEGOTIATING PANEL:

Howard Q. Dee,
Chairperson, GRP Panel

 

FOR THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES NEGOTIATING PANEL:

 

Luis G. Jalandoni,
Chairperson, NDFP Panel

Joint Agreement of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on Safety an Immunity Guarantees

This JOINT AGREEMENT on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, here­inafter referred to as the Joint Agreement IS ENTERED INTO BY AND BE­TWEEN:

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, in­cluding its executive departments and agencies, hereinafter referred to as the GRP through its negotiating panel headed by its Chairman, HOWARD Q. DEE;

AND

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES, including the COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES and the NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY, hereinafter referred to as the NDFP, through its negotiat­ing panel headed by its Chairman, LUIS G. JALANDONI;

WITNESSETH:

In firm adherence to the HAGUE JOINT DECLARATION and pursu­ant to the pertinent provisions of the JOINT STATEMENT signed in Breukelen, the Netherlands on June 14,1994, the GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (GRP) and the NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES (NDFP) hereby adopt safety and immunity guarantees to protect the rights of negotiators, consultants, staffers, security and other personnel who participate in the GRP‑NDFP peace negotiations.

The primary purposes of the safety and immunity guarantees hereby adopted are to facilitate the peace negotiations, create a favorable atmo­sphere conducive to free discussion and free movement during the negotia­tions, and avert any incident that may jeopardize the peace negotiations.

I.  SAFETY GUARANTEES

  1. As used and understood in this Joint Agreement, safety guarantees shall mean that all duly accredited persons as defined herein in possession of documents of identification or safe conduct passes are guaranteed free and unhindered passage in all areas in the Philippines, and in travelling to and from the Philippines in connection with the performance of their du­ties in the negotiations.
  1. Each party has the inherent right to issue documents of identifica­tion to its negotiators, consultants, staffers, security and other personnel and such documents shall be duly recognized as safe conduct passes as provided in this Joint Agreement.

The GRP and the NDFP shall agree through their respective panel chair­men on the number of documents of identification each party will issue based on the different categories of functions which the parties will desig­nate from time to time.

The documents of identification shall contain the official seal of the issuing party, the bearer’s photograph, name, sex, date and place of birth, height, color of hair and eyes, distinguishing physical features, the assigned number, designation or duty in the peace negotiations, and the period of validity. Each party shall provide the other with the name, designation and assigned number on each document of identification issued in accordance with this Joint Agreement.

In addition to or in lieu of the aforesaid documents of identification, the party concerned may request the other to issue safe conduct passes to the holders of such documents of identification or to other persons involved in the peace negotiations as provided for in this Joint Agreement.

The holder of the document of identification so considered as a safe conduct pass in accordance with this Joint Agreement or of the safe conduct pass referred to in the preceding paragraph is hereinafter referred to as the duly accredited person.

Any person under detention who may be designated to participate in the peace negotiations pursuant to this Joint Agreement shall be the subject of separate agreement between the two parties on a case to case basis.

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 as stipulated in this Joint Agreement. The duly accredited person shall have in his or her possession the document of identification or safe conduct pass for the duration of the peace negotiations.

  1. The document of identification or safe conduct pass shall not be transferable, provided that safety guarantees granted to the duly accredited person shall extend to any person or persons consulted by the duly accred­ited person during and in transit to and from such consultations, and pro­vided that these consultations shall be in connection with and in further­ance of the purposes of the peace negotiations. The appropriate informa­tion on these consultations shall be given by the party concerned to the other with due consideration to the safety of the persons involved in such consul­tations.
  1. All duly accredited persons who are already publicly known to be involved in the GRP‑NDFP peace negotiations shall be free from surveillance and shall be allowed freely to consult with the leaders and entities of the party concerned in the Philippines and abroad.
  1. The GRP shall promptly issue upon request regular passports to NDFP personnel who are duly accredited persons, without obligation to take an oath of allegiance to the GRP
  1. The GRP hereby recognizes and respects the right of NDFP personnel who are duly accredited persons to hold and use passports or travel docu­ments issued by other countries or other recognized entities. Said NDFP personnel who are duly accredited persons may use such passports or travel documents in entering, staying in and departing from the Philippines, and shall not be subjected to any form of punitive action, harassment, obstruc­tion or similar acts by the GRP in the course of travel, entry, stay or depar­ture.
  1. Each party shall upon request provide to the other any appropriate assistance to achieve the primary purposes of this Joint Agreement.

 II.  IMMUNITY GUARANTEES

  1. As used and understood in this Joint Agreement, immunity guaran­tees shall mean that all duly accredited persons are guaranteed immunity from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive actions due to any involvement or participation in the peace negotiations.

The immunity guarantees shall cover all acts and utterances made in the course of and pursuant to the purposes of the peace negotiations.

All materials, information and data submitted to or produced in the course of and pursuant to the purposes of the peace negotiations shall like­wise be covered by the immunities provided for in this joint Agreement and shall not be used in any investigation or judicial proceeding.

Any evidence obtained in violation of this Joint Agreement shall not be used in any investigation or judicial proceeding.

All immunities acquired by virtue of this Joint Agreement shall remain in full force and effect even after the termination of this Joint Agreement, provided said immunities shall not cover acts which are contrary to the purposes of the peace negotiations and outside and beyond involvement or participation in the peace negotiations.

  1. In all cases involving duly accredited persons, the prosecutors shall move for the suspension, during the peace negotiations, of criminal proceed­ings or processes including arrest and search, for acts allegedly committed prior to the effectivity of this Joint Agreement.
  1. All persons who shall assist the personnel of either side in the perfor­mance of their work in the peace negotiations, including the conduct of public consultations and peaceful assemblies, shall not be held liable for rendering such assistance.
  1. In the course of requesting a passport from the GRP in accordance with No. 5 of I above, the duly accredited person shall be immune from sur­veillance, arrest, prosecution, trial, punitive action, harassment, discrimina­tion or any liabilities due to exposure of identity and role in the peace nego­tiations.
  1. Any NDFP personnel, holding a GRP passport, who is a duly accred­ited person and who goes abroad to consult with the NDFP negotiating panel or to attend any meeting in peace negotiations or perform work related to the GRP‑NDFP peace negotiations shall be exempt from passport cancella­tion and shall continue to be entitled to the safety and immunity guarantees, including immunity from arrest, search or any punitive action, within a period of 30 days upon his return to the Philippines, or 30 days from the formal termination of this Joint Agreement, whichever comes later.
  1. Any NDFP personnel based abroad who is a duly accredited person and who goes to the Philippines for consultations or to perform any other work related to the peace negotiations shall enjoy safety and immunity guar­antees as provided for in this Joint Agreement and shall be free to return abroad at any time before and within a period of 30 days after the formal termination of this Joint Agreement.

III. GENERAL PROVISIONS

  1. This Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees shall be signed by the GRP and the NDFP negotiating panels and shall be subject to approval in writing by the respective principals of both parties, which ap­proval shall be made and communicated to the other party within 90 days from the signing hereof.
  1. Any violation of this Joint Agreement may be presented by the ag­grieved party to the other and shall promptly be the subject of consultations between the two panels of the negotiating parties in order to remove im­pediments to the peace negotiations. Such violation shall be investigated and dealt with accordingly by the party to which the personnel charged with the violation belongs.
  1. Any disagreement or ambiguity in the interpretation and applica­tion of the provisions of this Joint Agreement shall be subject of consulta­tions between the two panels and resolved in accordance with the letter and spirit of the HAGUE JOINT DECLARATION and the pertinent provisions of the BREUKELEN JOINT STATEMENT.
  1. The two parties may mutually amend, modify or supplement this Joint Agreement if the progress of the peace negotiations so demands.
  1. After its approval as provided in No. 1 of III above, this Joint Agree­ment shall be effective and binding upon the parties 30 days prior to the formal opening of the peace negotiations on June 1, 1995 and for the dura­tion of the peace negotiations, unless this Joint Agreement is sooner terminated by written notice given by one party to the other. In the latter event, this Joint Agreement shall be deemed terminated 30 days after receipt of the notice of termination.
  1. The venue of the formal talks shall be Brussels, Belgium, unless both parties mutually agree on another neutral venue. For this purpose, both par­ties shall separately make arrangements with the host country concerned.

DONE IN THE TOWN OF NIEUWEGEIN, THE NETHERLANDS, ON THE 24TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 1995.

 

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

By:

HOWARD Q. DEE, Chairman
GRP Negotiating Panel

MEMBERS, GRP
NEGOTIATING PANEL:

JOSE V. YAP

SILVESTRE H. BELLO III

FELICIANO V. CARINO

ZENAIDA H. PAWID

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES

By:

LUIS G. JALANDONI, Chairman
NDFP Negotiating Panel

MEMBERS NDFP
NEGOTIATING PANEL:

FIDEL V. AGCAOILI

CONI K. LEDESMA

ASTERIO B. PALIMA

WITNESSES
JESUS G. DUREZA                            JOSE MA. C. SISON
TERESITA L. DE CASTRO         ROMEO T. CAPULONG