Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año today said that exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leader Joma Sison must be hallucinating when he claimed that he is absolutely protected in his self-imposed exile in the Netherlands as a so-called political refugee because “a criminal and a terrorist like him can never be considered a political refugee.”
“Ang isang kriminal ay hindi kailanman puwedeng ituring na political refugee. Ang isang mass murderer ay hindi puwedeng maging refugee. Buking ka na, Joma, kaya panagutan mo ang mga kasalanan mong pagpatay sa mga kapwa mo Pilipino,” says Año.
The Manila Regional Trial Court has recently issued a warrant of arrest against Joma and 36 of his co-conspirators for the Inopacan massacre, a deadly purge of CPP/NPA members accused by the party of various offenses, whose remains were discovered in a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte in 2006.
The DILG Chief also calls Sison a coward for hiding from the charges against him in a foreign country and living there like a king. “Duwag ka, Joma. Now that you are in the last few years of your life, do something right for a change, own up to your sins against the Filipino people and face the charges against you and give justice to the victims of the Inopacan massacre, among many others,” he says.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), he says, is also closely coordinating with the INTERPOL for the issuance of a Red Notice for Sison's arrest which serves as a valid request for provisional arrest. “We have referred the warrant issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court to INTERPOL for publication of a Red Notice which is defined as a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action,” he says.
“Once the INTERPOL publishes a Red Notice, Joma Sison becomes a wanted man all over the world,” he adds.
Año says that while there is no bilateral extradition treaty between the Philippines and the Netherlands, it is possible to explore the possibility of transmitting this as a request to the Dutch Government for mutual legal assistance (MLA) on criminal matters.
According to the DILG Chief, although Sison has been granted refugee status in The Netherlands due to alleged political persecution in the Philippines “the grounds for the grant of such refugee status to Joma Sison no longer exist and should therefore be revoked.”
He says the government will seek a special arrangement with the Dutch Government for the extradition of Joma Sison on the grounds that his “refugee status” is no longer tenable because he participated in the commission of a crimes and other criminal acts as determined by the Regional Trial Court which renders him effectively ineligible.
The DILG Secretary also says that the Communist leader continues to direct his terrorist forces in the country from his self-imposed exile in the Netherlands through public statements and issuances directing the New People’s Army to kill and plunder in the countryside. “This fact has been established when the United States, the European Union, and the Duterte Administration declared the CPP/NPA as a terrorist organization,” he says.
In 1992, The Netherlands recognized Joma as a “political refugee” on the basis of his alleged persecution by the Marcos regime.
He says that the government is now actively working with the European Union to have Sison’s so-called refugee status in The Netherlands revoked as soon as possible. The Netherlands is part of the European Union.
“Wala ng rason pa para kanlungin pa ng Netherlands si Joma dahil ang Pilipinas at ang EU mismo kung saan kasapi ang Netherlands ay nagsasabing isang terrorist organization ang CPP na pinamumunuan ni Sison. Ang ibig sabihin si Sison ay isang terorista na hindi kailangan binibigyang proteksyon ng kahit sino mang gobyerno,” he stresses.
Año says initial talks with the EU deputy ambassador were positive with the latter committing to help the Philippine government in this matter.
At the same time, the DILG and the PNP have teamed up with the Department of Justice, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of Foreign Affairs to arrest all the others who were found to be responsible for the Inopacan massacre.
Aside from Sison, among those included in the warrant of arrest issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 are National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) senior adviser Luis Jalandoni, communist leaders Rodolfo Salas and Leo Velasco, and Mr. Sison’s wife, Juliet.
“Sumisikip na ang mundo mo, Joma. Malapit na ang araw ng pagtutuos para sa mga kasalanang ginawa mo sa ating bansa at sa mga biktima ng Inopacan massacre,” says Año.