Joma should be charged, jailed for crimes: AFP

MANILA � A military official said Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairperson Jose Maria Joma Sison should be charged, convicted, and jailed for the crimes he and his minions have committed.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said the government is collating information and pieces of evidence to refute the grim narratives being presented by front organizations of the CPP and its armed wing, New Peoples Army (NPA) like Karapatan about human rights abuses in the Philippines.

We will show that the information they are presenting to the European countries were fabricated. And such depiction of tyranny, murder, suppression of freedom, and persecution is untrue. And thus renders Mr. Sison's invocation of the non-refoulement clause infirm, Arevalo said in a text message to reporters on Monday.

Stop flow of funds

The AFP, he said, together with other agencies of government in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) are working diligently to gather and collate pieces of evidence to prove to the EU and Belgium that the funds they are providing end up with CPP-NPA front organizations and underground movement organizations and finance their terrorist activities.

Data obtained by the AFP showed that communist front organizations receive funds from the Belgian government and some European countries in the guise of marginalized and pro-poor programs.

The Belgian government has reportedly released its first tranche of more than 621,000 Euros (PHP36,663,840) out of the 15-million Euro (PHP885,600,000) grant to some non-government organizations for the 2017-2021 program. This year, some 1.3 million Euros (PHP76,752,000) are expected to be released.

The same pieces of evidence are necessary to indict and prosecute Mr. Sison of the crimes we have mentioned if and when he has returned to the country and the court acquires jurisdiction over his and the persons of his cohorts, he added.

He, however, said only the country's political leadership can decide on whether or not to extradite Sison, who is in asylum at The Netherlands.

"They (communists) must be held to answer for the murder of thousands of their comrades on mere suspicion of being military informants or have expressed desire to go back to mainstream," he added.

More than 80,000 victims

Arevalo said the number of victims, including non-combatant civilians, children, and the elderly, reached more than 80,000 during the CPP's 50 years of existence.

"The Filipino people, whom they have caused innumerable and unbearable sufferings yearns for justice, and the AFP are determined to be an instrument to end this terrorist group," Arevalo said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by both the United States and EU. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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