Joma shrugs off fake news of his ‘arrest’
LUCENA CITY—Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said his latest “arrest” in the Netherlands over alleged murder charges back home was another fake news he attributed to President Duterte’s troll army.
Claiming he had long been a target of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s troll army as well, Sison said the two bogus news websites—which reported that he was arrested by Dutch operatives for his alleged involvement in the assassination of three communist leaders in the Philippines in 2003 and 2006—merely rehashed his arrest by Dutch policemen in 2007.
The 78-year-old icon of communist insurgents shrugged off the false report of his supposed new arrest, saying it was just one of many fake news about him.
The so-called fake news report about Sison quoted witnesses as saying that during the arrest, the Dutch authorities “were accompanied by two Filipinos who are believed to be members of Philippines Presidential Security Group.”
In an online interview on Thursday from his base in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Sison said the spurious news story was a rehashed version of his 2007 arrest by Dutch policemen based on the same charges. The Dutch court released him after two weeks due to insufficient evidence.
“I have been a target of the Bongbong Marcos troll army for a while. But I do not pay any attention to those (fake news) since obviously the content against me is false, like the allegations that I am very wealthy here abroad or the accusation that said it was Ninoy Aquino and I who masterminded the Plaza Miranda grenade throwing in 1971,” Sison said.
But recently he had become a target of Duterte’s troll army.
Sison said fake news in social media, though effective in the short term, would not last long unmasked.
“If there are truth teams in the central and chapters of patriotic and democratic organizations, they can easily answer and defeat this paid Marcos and Duterte trolls in e-warfare,” he said.
He noted that the “shady side of the social media is that it allows anyone to curse and make threats.”
“Combination of fake news, adulation of Duterte and abusive language and physical threats are the trade characteristics of Duterte’s troll army,” the rebel leader said.
But the practice “is self-defeating for Duterte and his followers,” Sison said.
He observed that Duterte’s troll army had also been recent targets of online profanities and threats.
“They are beaten not with nastier profanities but by the truth, which exposes them as supporters of negative policies like mass murder of suspects, use of mass intimidation to lay the ground for a fascist dictatorship, puppetry to the US and oligarchs, drug smuggling, corruption, etc.,” Sison said.
Sison went into self-exile in The Netherlands after the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution that ousted strongman Ferdinand Marcos. He now serves as chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
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