Joma Sison denies red-tagging claims, receiving extortion money from NPA
MANILA, Philippines — Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison on Wednesday belied claims of red-tagging left-leaning organizations and receiving millions of allegedly extortion money from infrastructure projects.
Officials like Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. have all claimed that it was Sison himself who red-tagged organizations like Anakbayan, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, among others.
During the Senate hearing on military officials’ red-tagging on Tuesday, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency even presented a video of Sison supposedly linking the groups to the communist movement.
“Well, I spoke in Belgium in Brussels in 1988 and the Philippine military was able to get hold of the video and spliced the video to make it appear that I said the legal, democratic organizations are fronts, in the sense that they are facade, I never use that kind of language,” Sison said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“As a matter of fact, I differentiated the legal forces of the National Democratic movement from the armed revolutionary movement,” he added.
Sison also debunked allegations that he receives up to P400 million through the New People’s Army that were extorted from contractors of infrastructure projects and telecommunication companies as claimed by Jeffrey Celis or Ka Erik, an alleged former communist rebel.
“Money going to me and others? That’s entirely untrue. I depend on the assistance of relatives and friends. I have some well-to-do relatives and friends, that’s well-known,” Sison said.
“I don’t have to depend on funds that belong to the revolutionary movement and especially the people’s government,” he went on.
An alleged former NPA rebel also appeared before the same Senate hearing and claimed she was repeatedly raped by fellow rebels, an allegation which Sison likewise denied, saying the revolutionary movement is committed to follow humanitarian laws.
“The military keeps on making stories, rape of children, soldiering children. You know, the revolutionary movement represented by the National Democratic Front is a belligerent force in the civil war and it is committed to following international law on human rights and international humanitarian law in humanitarian conduct of waging war,” Sison said.
“You have a very responsible movement that’s why it has lasted for so long,” he added.
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