FREE PROF. JOSE MARIA SISON (JOMA)!!!!
Sison arrested by Dutch police for Kintanar, Tabara slays
The Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office in Rotterdam, Netherlands and the Royal Netherlands Embassy have confirmed the arrest of Jose Maria Sison on Friday morning in Utrecht where Sison is based, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau reported.
Sison was arrested by the International Crime Investigation Team of the Dutch National Criminal Investigation Department to face the criminal charges for his alleged involvement in assassinations of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara that took place in Philippines.
Jan Fermon, Sison's lawyer told an abs-cbnNEWs.com source that the official charge was "incitement to murders" in the Philippines.
A statement on the Web site of the Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office said: "The Communist leader was suspected of giving orders, from the Netherlands, to murder his former political associates in Philippines, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara."
Wim de Bruin, the spokesman from the Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office said in a telephone interview with ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau that the arrest was done by the local police and the Interpol was not involved because Sison was suspected to have ordered the murders from the Netherlands, which is a criminal act under the Dutch law.
"We started this investigation, a year ago, in 2006 and the police have concluded so far at the moment to make the arrest," de Bruin explained.
According to the Public Prosecutor's office, except for Sison's apartment, the police also combed the apartments of Sison's co-workers, seven in Utrecht and one in Abcoude.
A source however said Sison’s house was also subjected to a search by Dutch authorities. The source also said the houses of National Democratic Front (NDF) negotiating panel head Luis Jalandoni and Ruth de Leon, executive director of NDF international information office were searched by Dutch authorities. Computers and files were reportedly taken.
De Bruin confirmed that it included the NDF Panel office in Utrecht.
Sison is the chief political consultant of the NDF negotiating panel in the suspended peace talks with the Philippine government.
The Dutch spokesman also said that it was only Sison who was arrested and that no other persons were arrested in connection with the charges.
De Bruin said that Sison who is the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) will be detained in the Netherlands and will be tried by a Dutch court and will not be expelled or deported to the Philippines.
The statement said that Sison will be indicted by the Examining Judge at Court in The Hague on Friday.
Romulo Kintanar was gunned down on January 23, 2003 while having lunch in a Japanese restaurant in Quezon City. Kintanar was a former member of the Central Committee and Politburo, the CPP’s leading bodies. He was also the former chief of staff of the New People’s Army until his arrest in 1988.
Tabara and Stephen Ong, boyfriend of Tabara’s daughter, were shot dead at the parking lot of SM Fairview in Quezon City in September 26, 2004. Tabara was the former head of the Visayas Commission of the CPP and also a former member of the Central Committee and Politburo.
Both assassinations were admitted to by the CPP and the New People’s Army.
CPP spokesman Gregorio Rosal had said: "It was absolutely correct to put an end to Kintanar's rotten, criminal, counter-revolutionary and bloody record." Rosal said a "people’s court" sentenced Kintanar in 1993. Kintanar was accused of being an "intelligence agent of the [Manila] government's military and police since 1992." He was also tagged by the CPP of being a "project officer in an assassination plot against Prof. Jose Maria Sison in the Netherlands" in 2000.
The CPP also said that a "people’s revolutionary court" tried and found Tabara guilty of "numerous criminal cases and complaints of human rights violations."
Kintanar and Tabara were expelled from the CPP in the early ‘90s.
The two were instrumental in the formation of groups that broke away from the CPP-NPA and remained critical of Sison.
Tabara at the time of his assassination was the chairman of the Revolutionary Proletarian Movement of the Philippines and the Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Boncayao Brigade which frequently had armed encounters with the NPA.
Sison has denied direct involvement in the deaths of Kintanar and Tabara.
Sison had said Kintanar "had too many enemies in the criminal world of military and police operatives."
The CPP founder has also been accused by the widows of Kintanar Tabara of ordering their husbands’ deaths after they broke away from the CPP-NPA.
Sison has been on self-exile in the Netherlands since 1987. He had applied for but has not been granted political asylum. He could not be deported because he has claimed his life would be endangered upon his arrival in the Philippines.
Arroyo: Victory for justice
President Arroyo lauded Sison’s arrest saying that it was a giant step towards peace.
"A victory for justice and the rule of law," Mrs. Arroyo said.
The AFP also echoed the same response of Mrs. Arroyo with the CPP founder’s arrest.
"The arrest of Sison is a triumph of justice. Ironic as it is, he is assured of his day in court - a right denied to the thousands of innocent victims of Communist kangaroo courts. This is the long arm of the law catching up with Mr. Sison," Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro, chief of the AFP's Public Information Office said.
Bayan: Sison’s arrest on prodding of Philippine government
Meanwhile, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) believed that the government is intensifying the attacks on progressive forces.
"They are trying to create a chilling effect on the mass movement here in the Philippines by arresting him (Sison). They are badly mistaken," Carl Ala, KMP spokesman said.
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) , on their part, condemned the arrest and the raid on the houses and offices of NDF personnel by the Dutch authorities.
"The move to arrest Joma and the subsequent raids and interrogation of NDF personnel are most probably done with the knowledge and prodding of the Philippine government. We condemn both the Dutch and Philippine government for these latest attacks on civil liberties," BAYAN secretary general Renato Reyes said.
Reyes said that the legal basis for the arrests and raids remain unclear and are highly questionable. No formal charges have been filed by the Dutch authorities.
"The rights of the NDF personnel are being clearly violated by the Dutch government. Meanwhile the Arroyo government is beside itself with glee over the latest developments," Reyes added.
He added: "The Arroyo government has long sought the incarceration of Sison along with the termination of the peace process. The attacks on the NDF personnel who are part of the peace process clearly show that the Arroyo government has no intention to pursue meaningful peace negotiations". With reports from Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau and RG Cruz
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