By Francis Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Monday said the decision to request for the extradition of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison to the Philippines came from the political leadership and not the military.
But in so far as the military is concerned, AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said they, together with other government agencies under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), were also working for the indictment ofSison and his cohorts.
In a statement, Arevalo said Sison and his cohorts must be held to answer for the murder of thousands of their comrades on mere suspicion of being military informants or have expressed desire to go back to mainstream.
According to Arevalo, the number of their victims, to include non-combatant civilians, children, and the elderly has already reached more than 80,000 in the 50 years the CPP has been in existence.
“The Filipino people whom they have caused innumerable and unbearable sufferings yearns for justice. And the AFP is determined to be an instrument to end this terrorist group,” Arevalo said.
To stop the flow of funds, Arevalo said the AFP, together with other agencies of government in the ELCAC, is working diligently to gather and collate pieces of evidence to prove to the European Union (EU) and Belgium that the funds they were providing end up with CPP-NPA front organizations and underground movement organizations to finance their terrorist activities.
“The same pieces of evidence necessary to indict and prosecute Mr. Sison of the crimes we have mentioned if and when he has returned to the country and the court acquires jurisdiction over his and the persons of his cohorts,” he said.
Human Rights abuses
Arevalo, at the same time, said that they wanted to inform Sison that they were collating information and pieces of evidence to refute the grim narratives being presented by CPP-NPA front organizations like Karapatan about human rights abuses in the Philippines.
“We will show that the information they are presenting to the European countries were fabricated. And such depiction of tyranny, murder, suppression of freedom, and persecution is untrue. And thus renders Mr. Sison’s invocation of the non-refoulement clause infirm,” Arevalo said.
“Sison should be charged, convicted, and jailed for the crimes he and his minions have committed,” he said.