MANILA — A Manila court has ordered the arrest of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Joma Sison, his wife and 36 other members of the organization for murder.
Sison and his co-accused were tagged in the so-called "Inopacan massacre," a 1980s purge of CPP members accused of various offenses in Leyte province, according to an arrest warrant issued Aug. 28 by Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32.
Sison and his wife Juliet, a former communist peace negotiator, have been in self-exile in the Netherlands for some 3 decades now.
Aside from the couple, among those ordered arrested were the following:
• Luis Jalandoni, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) senior adviser
• Rodolfo Salas alias Ka Bilog, a former CPP chair who was arrested in 1986 and granted amnesty in 1992 by former President Fidel V. Ramos
• Leo Velasco, a communist consultant
• Jose Luneta, co-founder of Kabataang Makabayan and former CPP secretary general who passed away in Germany in May 2018
• Prudencio Calubid, NDFP consultant
• Sarmiento Eduardo, NDFP consultant
• Geronimo Pasetes
• Francisco Pascual, Jr.
• Mil Lominion
• Fortunato Felicilda
• Benjamin Beringel
• Quirino Quinawayan
• Fernando Rachel
• Pecario Sonana
• Jesus Solayao
• Lino Salazar
• Alfredo Taladro
• Tito Gabar
• Muco Lubong
• Felix Dumali
• Ciriaca Malimot
• Luzviminda Orillo
• Anselmo Balduhesa
• Alfredo Mabingay
• Bertino Oroza
• Bonifacio Padoc
• Rodrigo Paplona
• Prescillono Beringel
• Anastacio Dorias
• Nick Ruiz
• Sammy Labarda
• Charlie Fortaliza
• Luis Villena
• Rolando Caballera
• Donata Lumbrento
• Luz Abejo
The court did not recommend bail for the accused.
The murder case against them was filed in 2006 after skeletons of 67 alleged victims were discovered in Subang Daku Village in Inopacan town.
Sison claimed the bones were collected from various cemeteries by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, when he was still military chief under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
At the time of the supposed massacre, Sison said he was under maximum security detention and "was not in any position then to go over the head of the leadership of the CPP and revolutionary movement."
Sison also dubbed the list of the accused as "utterly stupid and obviously fabricated," claiming it included other individuals who were jailed during the supposed massacre and several others "who are already dead for various health reasons."
"The current news splash about the fake Inopacan murder charge is intended by the Duterte regime to draw away public attention from the scandalous release of 2,000 criminals convicted of drug trading, murder, rape and other heinous crimes," he claimed in a Facebook post.
Duterte earlier this week fired Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon over the release of heinous crime convicts due to good conduct credits, which has spawned a Senate inquiry and a review by the justice and interior departments.
- With a report from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News