STATEMENT OF RAMON PATRIARCA RE JOINING OF A NATIONALLY-COORDINATED FASTING ACTIVITY ON JULY 16, 2012
This Monday, (July 16, 2012), I am joining more than 360 of my fellow political prisoners all over the country in a nationally-coordinated fast to once again call on the Aquino Government to release all political prisoners through a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty.
This should also remind the Aquino Government of its commitment to free all political prisoners in accordance with Part III, Article G of the GPH-NDF Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), which states that the government ‘shall abide by its doctrine laid down in People vs. Hernandez (99 Phils. 515, July 18, 1956), as further elaborated in People vs Geronimo (100 Phils. 90, October 13, 1956), and shall forthwith review the cases of all political prisoners or detainees who have been charged, detained or convicted contrary to this doctrine, and shall immediately release them’.
The Aquino Government’s treatment of political prisoners has been dismal. It has refused to fulfill its promise in December 2010 to start the process of freeing all political prisoners by conducting a ‘thorough review’ of the circumstances and cases of political prisoners. Worse, even without conducting the said review, it declared in September last year that there are no more political prisoners in the country. Yet, it continues to persecute the likes of detained NDF Consultant Alan Jasminez, who was treacherously transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City last June 29 for exposing the poor jail conditions and the illegal activities of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the Camp Crame Custodial Center.
This is why the GPH-NDF Joint Statement issued from Oslo, Norway last June 15 offers not much hope. The GPH has simply not done enough to comply with its commitments in the many bilateral agreements it forged with the NDF. One cannot but suspect that the June 15 Oslo initiative was meant only as another ‘pogi point’ for the president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) next week, or, as a mere posturing preparatory to ending altogether the GPH-NDF peace negotiations consistent with his Oplan Bayanihan counter-revolutionary program.
I therefore add my voice to the clamor of political prisoners and human rights advocates here and abroad to improve the human rights situation and advance the cause of just and lasting peace in the country through the following steps of the Aquino Government :
- Process the release of all political prisoners towards a general, unconditional, and omnibus amnesty proclamation, consistent with the GPH-NDF CARHRIHL and the Hernandez Political Offense Doctrine.
- Immediately release on humanitarian grounds some 60 political prisoners who have been sickly for sometime now due to deplorable jail conditions.
- Immediately release Alan Jasminez, Tirso Alcantara and 12 other NDF consultants/personnel whose continued detention violate the GPH-NDF Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG)
- Surface abducted-and-disappeared NDF consultants/personnel Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid and Rogelio Calubad.
- Appropriately punish human rights violators ex-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ex-General Jovito Palparan, and their murderous gang.
- Resume the GPH-NDF peace negotiations based on past bilateral agreements, and focused on the draft GPH-NDF Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).
SGD. Ramon Patriarca
AFP Central Command Headquarters
Lahug, Cebu City
July 13, 2012