NDFP Negotiating Panel Immensely Outraged and Deeply Mourns Deaths of Tiamzon Couple

April 20, 2023

The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, (together with its consultants, resource persons, cooperators, staff and secretariat), are immensely outraged and deeply mourns the brutal and barbaric killing of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria.  We send our sincerest condolences to their families, especially their children and grandchildren.

Exemplary revolutionaries that they are to their very last breath, Ka Benny and Ka Wilma were key participants in the GRP-terminated formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations even as they have been consultants in the peace process in general for the longest time.

Ka Benny was a member of the NDFP Peace Panel while at the same time a key political consultant of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Group (RWG) on Political and Constitutional Reforms (PCR) while Ka Wilma was herself a vital political consultant of the NDFP RWG on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (EHDF). The two RWGs are crucial components in the penultimate and ultimate items in the substantive agenda  of the peace negotiations. 

The reported manner of  their questionable capture, inhuman treatment and barbaric torture, and the deceptive scheme to dispose of their and eight of their comrades’ mutilated bodies are despicable acts of evil persons from the GRP State’s terror machinery.

Being protected persons under the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as well as the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), in particular, and of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, in general, they should have been accorded all their rights and not murdered in cold blood by remorse-deficit GRP State terrorists.

This deliberate pattern of either arbitrarily arresting or outrightly murdering activists and revolutionaries must immediately stop. Together with other prejudicial acts and issuances by the GRP and its masters and proxies that undermine a genuine, meaningful and honorable resolution of the armed conflict, this latest unspeakable and merciless killing of Ka Benny, Ka Wilma and eight comrades further tighten the Gordian knot in really addressing the radix of the people’s war for liberation.

Ka Benny and Ka Wilma are incontestably two of the most beloved, selfless and brightest leaders of the struggle. They, like Joma, Fidel, Randall Echanis, Randy Malayao, Pedro Codaste and countless others, have steadfastly dedicated their whole lives, energies, wisdom and talent to achieve a truly  just and lasting peace for the people.

We honor their legacy by carrying on what they have passed on with even more vigor and resolve.  There is no other option.

Julieta de Lima
Interim Chairperson
NDFP Negotiating Panel