The communists' power couple

By Alexis Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 24 2014 10:07 AM | Updated as of Mar 24 2014 06:07 PM

MANILA - Benito and Wilma Tiamzon are in charge of the communist movement while their founding chairman lives in exile in the Netherlands.

The couple studied at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Benito took up Chemical Engineering and History.

Military records show that Benito, 63, is the chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and head of its central executive committee.

Wilma Tiamzon is 61 years old and the military tags her as CPP secretary-general and member of the central executive committee.

The military said Benito was the secretary, Eastern Visayas regional party committee in 1975, and that he was responsible for the massacre of civilians in Inopacan, Leyte in 1985.

He is calling the shots for almost all major party activities, while Jose Ma. Sison is in exile abroad, the military added.

The military said Wilma was previously CPP National Peasant Commission secretary, CPP finance officer, and Regional Trade Union Bureau executive member.

The Tiamzons were arrested in Aloguinsan, Cebu on March 22 for 15 counts of murder.

They are accused of killing 15 civilians in Inopacan in 1985. The bodies were discovered in a mass grave in 2006.

The case was originally filed with the Regional Trial Court in Hilongos, Leyte, but it has been transferred to Manila RTC Branch 32.

The couple will be taken to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila for inquest.

The military said Wilma was previously arrested on Oct. 4, 1989, but that she escaped on Dec. 25 that same year from Camp Crame.

The CPP spent P2.5 million for her escape, the military added.

The Tiamzons have a daughter, the military said.