Senate defense panel to look into possibility of inviting Joma to red-tagging probe
MANILA, Philippines — The chair of the Senate defense panel will look into the possibility of inviting exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison to its investigation into alleged red-tagging done by military officials.
“We will have to look into it first since he is out of the country’s jurisdiction and his testimony may not have any probative value even in a legislative inquiry, not to mention that that he is covered by a warrant of arrest issued by a competent court of law,” Lacson, chair of the defense committee, said in a message to reporters on Wednesday.
On Twitter, Senate President Vicente Sotto III was also asked by veteran journalist Raissa Robles if the Senate could have Sison attend the hearing via video conference.
“Let me look into the possibility,” Sotto said in response.
— Tito Sotto (@sotto_tito) November 24, 2020
Sison’s name has been mentioned during the two hearings conducted by the panel on the issue.
During both instances, the government’s security sector showed a video of Sison supposedly linking progressive groups, like Anakbayan, Bayan Muna, and Gabriela, to the communist movement.
But Sison, in a previous television interview, said the video was “spliced” to make it appear that he tagged these groups.
“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 had explained.
“As a matter of fact, I differentiated the legal forces of the National Democratic movement from the armed revolutionary movement,” he added.
The CPP founder and his wife, Juliet De Lima Sison, have been in self-exile in The Netherlands for around three decades now.
A Manila court earlier ordered the arrest of Sison over the so-called Inocapan massacre in the 1980s.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.