THE HAGUE - Jose Ma. Sison denied President Benigno Aquino III’s claim that the arrest of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) consultants Wilma and Benito Tiamzon is a major blow to the communist rebels.
In an exclusive telephone interview, the CPP founding chair said that he is not bothered by the arrest because they have very good lawyers taking care of the Tiamzons.
Right now, Sison continues to do his daily routine in Utrecht where he has been in exile for more than two decades.
"Inaabangan ko ang celebration ng pagtatayo ng NPA na magtatangghal nito ang NDF Information Office, magiging speaker ako at hinahanda ko yung aking speech," Sison said.
He likened the Tiamzons' situation to his own experience where the Marcos regime claimed that the CPP-NPA was finished with his arrest.
"Alam nyo naman dumaan din ako sa ganyang karanasan, 1977 nahuli ako. Nung nilalabanan ko yung fascista diktadura ni Marcos at nag armed struggle ako, di ba nahuli ako. Pinagyayabang ni Marcos, ayun nahuli na, mahirap nang palitan ito. Ang NPA wasak na. Ang CPP at NPA, tapos na sila. Pinagyayabang niya," Sison said.
Sison said that Aquino is wrong to imply that the CPP-NPA has been crippled with the arrests of the Tiamzons.
"Hindi naman. Yung liderato, yung leadership ng revolutionary movement di naman naka-depend sa individual. Collective ang leadership. Kapag may leader na nahuli , napapalitan kaagad," said Sison.
The Tiamzons are facing cases of murder, multiple murder, and frustrated murder before a regional trial court in Northern Samar.
They were also charged for multiple murder at Branch 18 in Hilongos, Leyte. The case is now under Manila RTC Branch 32 Judge Mario de la Cruz.
"Nag-object yung abogado ng mag-asawa dahil nagiimbento na ng charges. Samantalang yung pinirmahan nung mag-asawa na listahan, ang mga dala nila kittens and ilang puppies. At dahil sinasabi kung ilang rifles ang dala nila, iniimbento nila, pinaplantahan sila ng evidence," Sison said.
In fact, Sison claimed that the Philippine government has committed repeated violations under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG) protection agreement.
"May ilang consultants na inaresto. Dose ngayon. Baka last straw yan, yung mag-asawa bibinbinin hindi iresrespeto yung kanilang JASIG protection kaya violation," Sison said.
Sison added that the Philippine government has also violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHIRL).
"Dapat pakawalan yung mga political prisoners na kinulong ni Arroyo at Norberto Gonzales sa trumped- up charges on common crimes. Bagamat ang accusation ay political offense, pinatawan sila ng common crimes. Imbes na palayain sila ni Aquino aba pinarami sila, more than double ginawa ni Aquino," Sison said.
Sison said that today, there are more social activists who are victims of extrajudicial killings such as the activists in Iloilo and Abra. So far, he said, four activists have already died from extrajudicial killings.
Sison said that the armed struggle will continue and that the CPP-NPA remains strong.
"Tulad ng sinabi ko nung araw, habang yung ugat ng labanan, yung root causes ng armed conflict nandyan, magpapatuloy pa sa pagsulong ng digmang bayan, ang armed struggle," he said.
He reiterated the impact of the GPH’s not respecting the provision from JASIG which is prejudicial to the peace negotiations.
But he said that the NDF remains steadfast in fulfilling the commitments it handed to the Royal Norwegian government which is the facilitator in the peace talks.
He said that in May, the NDF team will go to Norway for exploratory talks on how to resume the formal talks and where they will present their demands in order for the formal talks to resume.