Prison transfer link to US renditions: NDF
Communists say transfer of Alan Jazmines undermines peace process
Communist rebels today accused the government of transferring a political detainee from Camp Crame in Quezon City because he had made accusations of American renditions taking place inside the facility. Luis Jalandoni, head of the negotiating panel of the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDF), said moving NDF consultant Alan Jazmines from his cell in the national police headquarters to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan on June 19 violated immunity guarantees afforded consultants in the ongoing peace process. The government has said it will continue to detain 14 jailed consultants working for the NDF until it receives a complete list of their names. “This is a further gross violation of the basic rights of Alan Jazmines,” Jalandoni said. Jazmines was removed from Camp Crame, he said, after exposing the “deplorable conditions of political prisoners [there] and the presence of victims of US rendition being subjected to interrogation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).” Jalandoni urged President Benigno Aquino to investigate what he termed the illegal action of the Americans, claiming their presence was a violation of the Philippines’ sovereignty. Jazmines first made allegations of FBI renditions at Camp Crame at the start of June a few weeks before his transfer. The human rights group Karapatan has previously complained to the government’s Commission on Human Rights that alleged ill treatment and increasing restrictions of political prisoners had become routine at Camp Crame and the nearby Fort Bonifacio army camp. “For two years, Aquino has not lifted a finger to act positively on the situation of these political prisoners who are unjustly detained,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairwoman of Karapatan. “He has instead allowed the plight of the political prisoners to worsen to the point of even betraying and forgetting his own father’s sufferings in jail,” she added in a reference to Aquino's father who spent seven years in prison in the 1970s during the Marcos regime. Jazmines was arrested in February last year on the eve of the resumption of peace talks between the government and the NDF despite his apparent immunity under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees signed by both sides.