Detained peace consultant in critical condition; another illegally arrested on the last day of Aquino government
Please join us in calling for the immediate release of Renato Baleros and Eduardo Genelsa, both JASIG-protected persons arrested and detained during the previous administration of Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Baleros and Genelsa, 58 and 60 years old respectively, are suffering from ailments that worsened due to jail conditions, yet both should not have been arrested in the first place. We enjoin everyone to call for the respect of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and for the release of all currently detained consultants of the National Democratic Front (NDF), and all political prisoners.
ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT
Renato Baleros, now 58 years old, was arrested on November 25, 2013 with his wife Lonie Colinayo-Baleros while both were heading the New People’s Army’s relief operations in Western Samar during the devastation of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). They were arrested by the 87th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army.
Meanwhile, Eduardo Genelsa, 60 years old, was arrested on June 29, 2016, just one day before the former president was set to step down. Genelsa was arrested while in a known NDF territory in Sitio Sangi, Brgy. Bongabong, Pantukan, Compostela Valley to discuss the upcoming peace talks to residents in the community. He was also in the community to conduct an investigation on druglord operations in the vicinity, and to gather complaints regarding the mining corporation St. Augustine Gold & Copper Ltd. He was arrested by composite elements of the 10th Infantry Division, 46th IBPA, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).
Genelsa is currently detained at the Compostela Valley Provincial Rehabilitation Center (PRC) while Baleros was in Samar Provincial Jail before he had to be rushed to the Eastern Visayas Regional Memorial Center in Catbalogan, Samar on the night of July 2 due to a kidney infection. He was eventually transferred to Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Hospital in Tacloban City. Only 5% of both of Baleros’ kidneys are functioning as he entered his second session of dialysis last July 6, 2016.
Doctors diagnosed Baleros of acute renal failure, severe sepsis and acute inflammation of kidney tissues, calysys and renal pelvis and community acquired pneumonia. He needs to undergo EndoscopicRetrogade Cholangio-Pancreatography which is only accessible in Manila and Cebu. As of this writing, the court has issued an order to transfer Baleros to a hospital in Manila.
Both Baleros and Genelsa were arrested on trumped of charges. For Baleros, charges of murder and frustrated murder, robbery in band and multiple homicide, and arson have been filed against him. Almost all of his cases have already been dismissed, except for one murder charge. Genelsa, on the other hand, is facing false charges of multiple murder, arson, frustrated murder, and robbery.
Baleros and Genelsa are covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), and they should not have been arrested. The JASIG is a signed document that guarantees negotiators, consultants, staffers, and other personnel involved in the peace negotiations are safe from arrest. It was primarily adopted for purposes of creating a favourable and conducive atmosphere to facilitate free discussion and free movement during negotiations, and avoid incidents that can potentially jeopardize the talks. The JASIG has been set aside by the previous governments, as the arrest of NDF consultants and other JASIG-protected persons continued. Currently, the number of NDF consultants and JASIG-protected personnel detained total to 22. These show the lack of sincerity from the side of the previous administrations to uphold signed agreements and the lunwillingness to push through with the peace negotiations.
Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:
1. The immediately release of Renato Baleros and Eduardo Genelsa, and all similarly detained JASIG protected persons;
2. The resumption of the formal peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP);
3. The general, unconditional and omnibus release of all political prisoners;
4. The AFP to respect the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), as well as other previously signed agreements between the GPH and the NDFP;
5. The Philippine Government to adhere and respect the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and other previously signed agreements with the NDFP.
You may send your communications to:
You may send your communications to:
H.E. Rodrigo Duterte
President of the Republic
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Hon. Jesus Dureza
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216
Ret. Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600
Hon. Vitaliano Aguirre
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline: 523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below:
URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central,
Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146