[Hat tip to Pajamas Media, Manila, Philippines]
By Dean Jorge Bocobo
On August 29, the same day a rare astronomical event treated millions to the celestial spectacle of the eclipse of a red moon, Jose Maria Sison, founder and chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), were arrested by Dutch authorities at his home in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Sison allegedly ordered the murders of two former fellow Communists 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 assassinations, which are the basis of murder charges against him and New People’s Army operatives in the Philippines.
Mr. Sison has been designated a foreign terrorist and the CPP-NPA as foreign terrorist organizations, by both the United States and the European Union for every year since 2002. It is very likely they will be so designated under the new Philippines Anti-Terrorism Law, the Human Security Act of 2007. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo hailed the arrest as “a giant step toward peace. A victory for justice and the rule of law.”
The murders allegedly masterminded by Sison from the Netherlands were part of an long internal struggle within the communist movement which began in the early 1980s, when thousands of suspected government spies believed to have infiltrated the CPP-NPA in the early eighties were murdered in purges.
Several mass burial sites used by execution teams were unearthed last year and led to charges of mass murder against Sison and his associates. A purge survivor, a former member of the CPP’s Mindanao Commission, tells a compelling story of paranoia, treachery and vindictiveness as the CPP’s top leaders moved to eliminate anyone who might oppose their ideological and organizational supremacy. Sison’s deadly purges formed the prologue to the Kintanar-Tabara assassinations for which he was eventually charged.