Joma Sison told: Face trial for purge of ‘spies’
Malacañang has urged exiled communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison to return and face trial for the purge of communist rebels suspected of being government spies, whose bodies were allegedly found in a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Sison, who is on self-exile in the Netherlands, should just “unchain himself and face the music.”
In a statement, Panelo said Sison “is welcome to come home to avail of his constitutional right to confront his accusers and prepare for his defense.”
“The warrant of arrest shall be served as directed upon us by the judiciary,” Panelo added.
The Palace made the remarks after the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 issued an arrest warrant against Sison and 37 others for the purge of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the 1980s, whose remains were discovered in a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte, in 2006.
Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina named Sison and his wife Juliet in her arrest order signed on Aug. 28, which also included National Democratic Front of the Philippines senior adviser Luis Jalandoni and communist leaders Rodolfo Salas and Leo Velasco.
She did not recommend bail for Sison and the others.
In 2016, Sison and his coaccused were charged with 15 counts of murder for the killing of 67 former NPA members whose bodies were found in a mass grave in Subang Daku Village in Inopacan town.
In a statement from Utrecht on Friday, Sison branded the list of the accused in the so-called “Inopacan massacre” as “stupid and fabricated” as it “includes the names of those in prison at the time of the alleged massacre.”
He added: “At the time that the fake Inopacan massacre was supposed to have happened, I was still under maximum security detention by the Marcos fascist regime.”
The communist leader said the timing of the warrants of arrest was intended to draw away public attention from the scandalous release of 2,000 criminals convicted of heinous crimes under the good conduct time allowance law.
Sison alleged that the bones of the supposed massacre victims were collected from various cemeteries on orders of former Armed Force Chief of the Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Sison said the list of the accused “includes those already dead for various health reasons as well as those disappeared by the reactionary government.”
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