May 10, 2017
Renato M. Reyes, Jr. BAYAN secretary general
Last night’s incident (May9), where NDFP Peace Panel member Benito Tiamzon and peace consultant Wilma Austria-Tiamzon were tailed by motorcycle-riding men after the two leaders visited the protesting MARBAI farmers in Mendiola, is a blatant violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Because of the relentless surveillance, the Tiamzons were forced to return to Mendiola and seek assistance from peace advocates at around 10pm.
The surveillance appears instigated by the AFP in another attempt to undermine the ongoing peace talks. We condemn such harrassment.
The GRP Peace Panel and the Third Party facilitator, the Royal Norwegian Government, should look into this latest incident. Previously, on their way back from backchannel talks in the Netherlands last March, the Tiamzons were also subjected to surveillance after they landed at the airport in Manila.
The peace spoilers are again hard at work, wary of the progress of the talks. The farmers visited by the Tiamzons in Mendiola were the same farmers visited by Pres. Duterte just a few hours earlier. ###