The parties determined they have the political will to continue with the peace negotiations, maganda lalo na on the side of the GRP. They have a president who said he is a left president. We appreciate the release of theJASIG-protected consultants. But I also pointed out that a big incentive to accelerate the peace process ay iyong promise to amnesty and release of all political prisoners. It was a promise that originated from President Duterte in his conversations with Fidel Agcaoili. So, I said, the amnesty and release of all political prisoners would be a good incentive for the signing of a joint or bilateral ceasefire agreement that is more stable than this ceasefire through unilateral declaration—which happen to be holding, huh. It will also be a strong incentive for the accelerated peace talks on socio-economic and political and constitutional reforms.
…After the agreement on the agenda, the panels proceeded to discuss the first item, which concerns the amnesty and releases. So Fidel asked for the status of the amnesty proclamation for the releases. So it was noted that as far as the NDFP is concerned, it does not know what progress has been made about the amnesty proclamation in terms of preparing a draft being processed by the Office of the President. And it has been noted down that there have been no releases since August 27. And iyong tatlo who have been convicted who should be pardoned, no releases despite the withdrawal of appeals so the way is clear for presidential clemency. So walang nangyari. Walang nangyari sa humanitarian cases.
Nagpaliwanag (ang GRP) sa status: ‘O, the draft of the amnesty proclamations is with the Office of the President and also with the Secretary of Justice.’ And they are doing their best to prepare for the release of the humanitarian cases. Mga more than 80.
Is the issue of amnesty connected to the nine hour delay in the holding of the opening ceremony (yesterday)?
Ang nagpa-meeting ng nagpa-meeting iyong GRP. So sila ang hingi ng hingi ng extension. Di ba, primero, it started with three pm because Bebot was supposed to arrive at 1:30 ba. He needed to be briefed first. Then it was moved to four, then five, then six (pm).
What are the prospects of the releases of the political prisoners particularly those who should be released on humanitarian grounds?
That remains to be seen. Because we could not ask for more than what we heard, that the GRP side is working on the releases. We can react further if we know what happens next from the other side.
Sabi nila mayroon na silang amnesty proclamation (draft). Ang NDF, nag-propose ng draft so the two sides can agree on the content and language. The problem with amnesty proclamation, supposing it requires admission of guilt or there are terms that are humiliating, or pinapalusot sa karayom, yun bang too difficult, it is important that it is also satisfactory to the NDF and to the prospective amnesty beneficiaries kung ano ba ang nilalaman. Supposing it is actually a document requiring you to admit guilt and then there are humiliating terms. I am not saying mangyayari yan, pero mas mabuti ang cuentas claras at the beginning. So it is good to go over the draft. They (GRP) take a risk, ha: ‘Ah! It is the prerogative of the president to issue the amnesty proclamation, so we have no business showing you any draft until he signs the amnesty proclamation.’ But supposing it is unacceptable na? E di sinira na nila ang peace process? Do you think the NDF is not self-respecting enough to rebuff or take any counter-action to anything that is insulting? So it is better, para wala nang intervening na gulo pa. Tutal, it is supposed to be an act of goodwill as well as a matter of justice and compliance with an existing agreement like the CARHRIHL. Andun yun e. Huwag i-multiply ng common crimes when someone is supposed to be chargeable for rebellion. Di ba, sabi mismo ni Duterte na tinitilad-tilad yung case ng rebellion tapos gagawan ng kung ano-anong common crimes as charges?
There was a generous moment when Duterte said the quickest and most efficient way of releasing the political prisoners is through amnesty. Mamaya, nagagawang tingi-tingi. Tapos, nariringgan: ‘E kung nag-release na ako ng lahat, e di wala na akong baraha?’ E, kung ganon, kung pakiputan, kikipot ang daan para sa peace negotiations.
Anong gustong mangyari ng NDFP kaugnay ng political prisoners?
Immediate compliance with CARHRIHL and rendering of justice. Kawawa ang mga political prisoners na napakatagal na kinulong sa trumped-up charges of common crimes in violation of the Hernandez Political Offense Doctrine and in violation of CARHRIHL. And in the case of the JASIG-protected, also in violation of JASIG. In the first place, they should not have been arrested and detained. So, simple as that: immediate compliance.
Pag hindi ka marunong mag-comply sa simpleng agreements, paanong maniwala pa ang NDFP sa gagawin pang agreements ay ma susunod?
Sa iba pang substantive agenda–CASER, PCR—kumusta ang takbo ng usapan?
I don’t think anuman ang status nung amnesty and release of all political prisoners at yung kagustuhan nilang magkaroon ng joint ceasefire, kung anuman ang mangyari, tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho diyan. Nakasalang na yung social and economic reforms, although for this round of meetings, magaan ang trabaho: Arriving at a common outline. At saka, ang NDF handa na e. Tapos na yung kanyang buong draft of the whole agreement, pero deep preparations lang yan. The only thing to do is to arrive at a common outline. Ganyan din sa PCR.