Tolentino seeks justice for soldiers, civilians killed in CPP-NPA insurgency

Senator Francis Tolentino on Tuesday, December 20 said justice should be served to the civilians and soldiers who suffered and were killed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed group the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) during their insurgency.

Tolentino made the remark in light of the death of CPP-NPA founding leader Jose Maria Sison, saying that while he sympathizes with his family, “there should be justice here.”

“We really sympathize with the family of Joma (Sison), but I think there should be justice here. Yung mga napatay na sundalo, napatay na sibilyan na caught sa crossfire, eh dapat magkaroon din ng katarungan (The soldiers who were killed, the civilians who were caught in the crossfire, there should be justice),” Tolentino said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart.

“Dapat po mabigyan din ng hustisya yug mga naging bahagi ng insurgency na hindi dapat. Dapat po may managot dun sa terorismo na ginawa nila (Justice should be served to those who became part of the insurgency when they shouldn’t have been part of it. Someone should be held accountable for the terrorism they committed),” he also said.

The senator also said he hopes that the death of the CPP-NPA founder should mark a closure of a “chapter in history.”

“This should really close the chapter in history. Kung sino man papalit sa kanya siguro (Whoever will take his place) should really heed the call of history that what the Filipinos really need right now is peace and progress,” the lawmaker stressed.

With Sison’s death, Tolentino also said the CPP-NPA now has a “paltry image.”

“It would really make them decrepit in terms of what they have been advocating...(they would be) worn out,” he said.

He also said the CPP-NPA’s refusal to agree to a ceasefire shows how the group aims to retain its “archaic, out of date” ideologies.

“Ang gusto ng kababayan natin kaunlaran at katahimikan pero kung yun pa din ang ipagpapatuloy nila eh nasa maling bahagi sila ng kasaysayan (What our countrymen want is development and peace, but if that is what they continue to do, then they are in the wrong part of history),” he said.

“So dapat kilalanin nila na ang ating bayan ay nangangailangan ng kapayapaan at kaunlaran and what they’ve done before, sa dami ng namatay , eh dapat siguro magkaroon din ng accounting yun (So they should recognize that our country needs peace and development and what they've done before, with the number of deaths, maybe there should be an accounting for that too),” he added.

“Dapat din po magkaroon ng hustisya at katarungan sa mga nasawi, lalo na sa mga sibilyan at sundalo (There should also be justice and fairness for the victims, especially for civilians and soldiers),” he reiterated.