Joma hits Duterte’s ‘fake charges’ against him, other critics


MANILA — Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), lambasted the “fake charges filed against him, his wife and several others over the alleged communist purging.”

In a report  by the government-run Philippine News Agency, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 ordered the arrest of Sison, Juliet de Lima and 36 others. Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina issued the warrant on Aug. 28 after finding probable cause that the “accused committed the offense as charged in the amended information.”

In a statement, Sison said that he was still under maximum security detention by the Marcos dictatorship at the time of the fake Inopacan massacre.

Sison was arrested in November 1977 and was released from military detention on March 5, 1986 soon after the overthrow of Marcos.

“The long drawn Inopacan case of ‘walking skeletons’ is a cruel joke at the expense of patriotic and progressive activists,” Sison said.

Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, said the bones were collected by General Hermogenes Esperon from various cemeteries during the time of Arroyo in order to make his “legal offensive” and persecute the opponents of the Arroyo regime.

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Like Sison, other respondents in the case such as Satur Ocampo and Vicente Ladlad were also in detention at the time of the supposed “mass killing” in Leyte in 1985.

Also included in the list were victims of enforced disappearances such as Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid. Eduardo Sarmiento, meanwhile, is detained at the National Bilibid after having been convicted of trumped-up charges.

One of them, Jose Luneta, is already dead.

“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,” Sison said.

Noting the filing of trumped-up charges against critics, Sison maintanted that Duterte is “preparing for the mass arrest of people who oppose his antinational, antidemocratic and antipeople policies and actions.”

“But the probable mass arrest and even the murder of the opponents of the regime will fail to intimidate and silence the people,” he said. “The broad masses of the people are already fed up with this regime and are on the verge of rising up to cause its downfall.”

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