Court orders ar­rest of Joma, wife, 36 oth­ers over NPA ‘purg­ing’

Sun Star Bacolod - - Topstories -

EX­ACTLY five days be­fore the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Inopacan mas­sacre in Leyte by sur­viv­ing fam­i­lies whose loved ones were among the hun­dreds of vic­tims killed in a mass ex­e­cu­tion per­pe­trated by the New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA) in the 1980s, a Manila court has or­dered the ar­rest of Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines found­ing chair­per­son Jose Maria “Joma” Si­son and 37 oth­ers in­clud­ing rebel group lead­ers and mem­bers.

Pre­sid­ing Judge Thelma Bunyi-me­d­ina, of the Re­gional Trial Court Branch 32 in Manila, is­sued the War­rant of Ar­rest dated Au­gust 28, 2019, against Si­son with aliases Joma, Ar­mando Guer­rero, Ar­mando Li­wanag, and his wife Juliet, for­mer Na­tional Demo­cratic Front of the Philip­pines (NDFP) peace ne­go­tia­tor, among oth­ers.

Also in­cluded in the ar­rest war­rant are those charged with 15 counts of mur­der in con­nec­tion with the Inopacan mas­sacre, namely:

Rodolfo Salas alias Ka Bilog — for­mer CPP chair who was ar­rested in 1886 and granted an amnesty in 1992 by for­mer Pres. Fidel V. Ramos;

Leo Ve­lasco – NDFP con­sul­tant for the peace process;

Jose Luneta — co­founder of Ka­bataang Mak­abayan and for­mer CPP sec­re­tary gen­eral sec­re­tary; passed away in Ger­many on May 1, 2018; Geron­imo Pasetes; Pru­den­cio Calu­bid – NDFP peace con­sul­tant;

Luis Ja­lan­doni — NDFP se­nior adviser;

Sarmiento Ed­uardo – NDFP con­sul­tant; 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; and

Luz Abejo.

The Court’s ar­rest war­rant came fol­low­ing an order is­sued by Judge Me­d­ina on Au­gust 22, 2019, af­ter find­ing prob­a­ble cause that the “ac­cused com­mit­ted the of­fense as charged in the amended in­for­ma­tion”.

No bail was rec­om­mended for the 38 ac­cused.

Based on es­ti­mates of for­mer rebels and the vic­tims’ rel­a­tives, the Inopacan mas­sacre or mass purg­ing, dubbed by the NPA as “Oplan Vene­real Dis­ease”, claimed the lives of about 300 residents in Leyte province.

Fam­i­lies of purg­ing vic­tims, dur­ing the 12th com­mem­o­ra­tion of the mas­sacre on Sep­tem­ber 2, con­tinue to cry for jus­tice for their loved ones who were sum­mar­ily ex­e­cuted by com­mu­nist rebels on the sus­pi­cion of their ties with the mil­i­tary.

Charges were filed in 2006 af­ter the skele­tal re­mains of 67 vic­tims were ex­humed from shal­low graves in Subang Daku vil­lage, Inopacan town, Leyte on Au­gust 28, 2006.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion by the United States, Eu­ro­pean Union, the United King­dom, Aus­tralia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philip­pines.

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