GUESS who is already lawyering for Joma? Satur Ocampo, his co-accused in the paranoiac murderous purges and killing fields of their comrades inb the 1980s. But at this moment, he apparently does not realize the basis of the arrest is not those alleged crimes but the assassinations of Joma's rivals, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara, both leading lights of the CPP-NPA.
Philippine Communist Leader Apprehended to Face a Murder Charge
28 augustus 2007
Jose Maria S., 68, a Philippine Communist leader was apprehended this morning in Utrecht by the International Crime Investigation Team of the Dutch National Criminal Investigation Department to face the criminal charges for his involvement in assassinations that took place in Philippines.
Mr. S. is a founder of the Communist Party of Philippines (CPP) and its armed branch, the New People’s Army (NPA), that has been fighting for years against the consecutive governments in Manila. The Communist leader was suspected of giving orders, from the Netherlands, to murder his former political associates in Philippines, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara.
Except for the apartment in which Mr. S. lived, the Dutch National Criminal Investigation Department today combed the apartments belonging to his co-workers, seven of which were in Utrecht and one in Abcoude.
On January 23, 2003, the former leader of the New People’s Army, Romulo Kintanar, 50, was shot dead in a Japanese restaurant in Philippines. The perpetrators were at the time of murder in the restaurant as well and fired 10 shots in Mr. Kintanar. The victim bled to death as a result of the shot wounds. The assassination triggered off a huge commotion in Philippines. It was claimed by the New People’s Army, in an official publication in which the reference was made to a sentencing by the special People’s Court. A special unit of the New People’s Army allegedly punished Kintanar for his crimes against the revolution and the people.
The Dutch National Criminal Investigation Department also investigates the role of Mr. S. in the assassinations of Arturo Tabara and his son in law Stephen Ong, which took place on September 26, 2006. Both men were shot dead in a parking lot, while stepping out of their car. They died instantly as a result of being shot in the area of head, chest and stomach.
This assassination was also claimed by the CPP’s armed branch. According to one official publication Tabara was “a seasoned criminal and fanatic contra-revolutionist.“ He was killed because he and his son in law had supposedly offered resistance when a special unit of the New People’s Army tried to make the arrest.
Until the beginning of the nineties, Tabara was a member of the highest command of the New People’s Army.
Mr. S. has been living in the Netherlands since 1987. He had applied for a political asylum but he was not granted one. He could not be deported because his life would allegedly be endangered upon his arrival in Philippines. On Friday, Mr. S. will be indicted by the Examining Judge at Court in The Hague.
For information about this Press Release please contact Mr. Wim de Bruin.
JOSE MARIA SISON, founder and chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People's Army, has been arrested by Dutch authorities at his home in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on suspicion of ordering the murders of two former comrades in the Philippines, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in 2003 and 2004. He is being held in The Hague pending arraignment and trial under Dutch law for allegedly ordering the remote control assassinations, which are also the subject of murder charges against him and New People's army operatives in the Philippines.
Mr. Sison has been designated to be a foreign terrorist personality, and the CPP-NPA as foreign terrorist organizations, by both the United States and the European Union every year since 2002. It is very likely that they will also be designated as such under new landmark legislation in the Philippines Anti-Terrorism Law, the Human Security Act of 2007.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA TV News) hailed the arrest as "a giant step toward peace. A victory for justice and the rule of law."
The murders allegedly ordered by Mr. Sison in the Netherlands are part of an enduring internal struggle within the communist movement that has its roots in a paranoiac purge of suspected government spies that had infiltrated the Party and the NPA towards the end of the Marcos regime in the early eighties. Nearly a thousand cadre are said to have been murdered by their own comrades during those purges. Several of the mass burial sites used by execution teams, were discovered and investigated by the Philippine police and military authorities last year, resulting in charges of mass murder against Mr. Sison, and his associates.
The most comprehensive exposition of this aspect of Mr. Sison's history and the deadly "rejectionist-reaffirmist" struggle within the CPP that directly led to the Kintanar-Tabara assassinations may be found in this web testimonial by a former member of the CPP's Mindanao Commission who survived the deadly purges and tells a compelling story of paranoia, treachery and the long vindictive memory of the CPP's top leaders against anyone who has opposed their ideological and organizational supremacy.
The decades-long communist insurgency of the CPP-NPA has been a major thorn in the side of successive Philippine governments since their founding in the 1960s and is seen as a major stumbling block to peace and order in the country as well as its economic and social upliftment. Although the NPA has never won any significant military victories against the government, it runs the most highly organized criminal extortion operation in the country, collecting hundreds of millions of pesos annually, from local farmers, businesses and government institutions. During election time, the NPA even collects fees for the "right to campaign" in areas under their influence from political candidates. Hundreds of kidnappings, assassinations, arsons, remote-controlled land mine explosions, raids on police stations, and small-scale military engagements are the ongoing "livelihood" projects of the CPP NPA in the countrysides.
The CPP-NPA also runs dozens of front organizations among workers, students, peasants and other "marginalized sectors". These highly militant activist organizations are also the CPP NPA's major recruiting grounds and the main base of operations for aboveground parliamentary struggles. In recent years, several of these organizations have successfully won several seats in the Philippine House of Representatives under the party-list system. Perhaps the best known of these is Rep. Satur Ocampo of the party list Bayan Muna, who also happens to be Mr. Sison's co-accused for having ordered the murderous purges of their comrades in the 80s, when both were running the CPP NPA.
The arrest of Mr.Sison in the Netherlands has long been urged upon the Dutch government, with whom the Philippines does not however have an extradition treaty. When Mr. Sison originally applied for political asylum in the Netherlands 20 years ago, the application was rejected, but the Netherlands granted him political refugee status, and allowed him to take up residence there, believing his life would be in danger in the Philippines [sic!]. The CPP's top leadership and their families moved to Utrecht with Mr. Sison and were receiving millions in financial contributions from the European Left and other international sources. From there they ran the CPP NPA's operations in the Philippine Archipelago by fax and email and in coordination with their agents and allies in the Philippines. They also resorted to the alleged assassinations to eliminate their ideological rivals, some of whom had returned to the fold of the law and were therefore considered counter-revolutionaries subject to trial, arrest and execution by the same "People's Courts" that caused the "killing fields" of the eighties.
The listing of Mr. Sison and the CPP NPA as foreign terrorists by the US and EU put a big dent in their European exile lifestyles and put pressure on the local NPAs to raise money and resources through their organized criminal activities. But it also drove a deep wedge between those in the Archipelago fighting in the hills, and those on the Continent enjoying the glamorous and relatively comfortable lifestyle of an exile in Europe.
The arrest of Mr. Sison and the end of his Dutch Treat hopefully presages the eventual total demise of the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization in the Philippines. If that happens, I predict that the Philippines will have secured its century-old democratic experiment as the first and the oldest constitutional democracy in Australasia; that it will double or triple its rate of economic growth by quickly eclipsing all other tourist and foreign investment destinations, and that it will become the bulwark of the Global War on Terror in Southeast Asia.
Its ninety million freedom-loving people, who have suffered so much because of the communist insurgency look with renewed hope in the future as a result of this recent development, even as they cannot fail to see the arduous tasks still ahead of them in overcoming both the totalitarian left. There is also still the Global Islamic Jihad, which many suspect has taken over the old Moro cause in Mindanao and is responsible for the recent upsurge of terrorist bombings, ambush killings and mass beheadings in the South, where an "all-out war" has erupted. (But that is another story yet to be told!)
For now however, the Filipinos can enjoy the sight of the Red Moon's eclipse.