We denounce unjust conviction of NDFP peace consultants Benito and Wilma Austria on trumped up criminal charges of kidnapping.
The conviction forms part of political persecution that violates the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP. That the case was pursued by DOJ show bad faith on part of GRP. Walang palabra de honor.
The charges of kidnapping are unjust and without basis. Disarming and detention of Army personnel as prisoners-of-war are legitimate and humane acts of war. They were released without ransom contrary to criminal act of kidnapping.
The criminal case itself is spurious arising from an incident more than 30 years ago. The decision was suddenly railroaded and was based en toto on obviously concocted testimonies of Army soldiers.
Parts of the Quezon RTC ruling reads like a poorly written military intelligence report based on bad movie scripts. It was released at a time that judges and lawyers are under intense pressure from the military to cooperate in counterinsurgency.