Sunday, June 25, 2017

OPPAP discloses whitelist of rebels covered by JASIG

From InterAksyon (Jun 24): OPPAP discloses whitelist of rebels covered by JASIG

OPAPP logo

Identifying mark of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

In a dispatch dated 21 June, 2017, Angela Librado-Trinidad, Philippine government (GRP) peace panel member concurrently supervising the Committee on JASIG and releases, disclosed that the updated list of National Democratic Front (NDF) rebels and consultants covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee was recently deposited in The Netherlands.

The list, encrypted in USB (Universal Serial Bus) flash disks and a back up security drive (SD) and locked in a safety deposit box, contains photographs and real identities of rebel consultants who are still “underground”.

The deposit is in line with the mandatory provisions of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG) and supplemental guidelines, which the GRP and the NDF panels signed in 1995 and 1998, respectively and affirmed by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte as well as the August 26, 2016 Joint Statement as a necessary component of the peace negotiations with the communist rebels.

The rebel leaders included in the JASIG list, as well as other persons directly participating in the peace negotiations, are guaranteed free movement and freedom from arrest, surveillance, interrogation and similar actions in connection with their involvement or participation in the peace negotiations for the duration of the peace talks.

Immunities cover acts, statements, materials, information and data made during or resulting from the peace negotiations.

Also included are rebel leaders who have already surfaced and are physically participating in the peace negotiations between the Philippine government (GRP) and the NDF.

The JASIG-covered rebel consultants were issued letters of authority (LAs) by GRP panel chair Silvestre Bello, which they could present to police authorities and military in case they are held or arrested.

On hand during the depositing of the USB and the back up SD in the safety deposit box were GRP peace panel members lawyer Angela Librado-Trinidad and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Hernani Braganza from the GRP Panel, Fidel Agcaoili and adviser Luis Jalandoni from the NDF Panel.

Attending as witnesses were Archbishop Joris August Odilius Ludovicus Vercammen of the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands, the Third Party Depository, and Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands Jamie Ledda.

Braganza explained that the deposit is part of JASIG verification and process of validating the identities of persons using aliases in the list of JASIG-covered Document of Identification (DI) Holders.

“We have to be strict this time as we do not want a repeat of the July 2011 verification incident that almost resulted to the collapse of the peace negotiation,” he pointed out.

This was when the GRP and NDF panel members conducted the JASIG verification process after an alleged rebel consultant was arrested. Upon verification, the encrypted diskettes containing the photographs of NDF consultants could not be opened due to faulty decryption diskettes provided by the NDF panel.

The NDF panel claimed that the decryption diskettes could have been corrupted when Dutch authorities seized the diskettes and other materials during a raid at their Utrecht headquarters.

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