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DoJ studying options for arrest of Sison, others

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Jose Maria C. Sison
Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria C. Sison -- PHILSTAR

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) is studying options for the arrest of exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison and several others over a mass killing 30 years ago. In a message to reporters on Monday, Justice Undersecretary Markk L. Perete said the DoJ’s International Legal Coordination Unit will be collaborating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) regarding this matter. The CPP leader sought asylum and been living in the Netherlands since 1987. “We understand though Mr. Sison has obtained asylum so they are studying what remedies to take given his status,” Mr. Perete said. Last week, the AFP said it will team up with the DoJ and the Department of Foreign Affairs for the arrest of Mr. Sison after the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 declared him and 36 others responsible for what has come to be known as the Inopacan massacre in Leyte. Among those included in the charges are National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) senior adviser Luis Jalandoni, communist leaders Rodolfo Salas and Leo Velasco, and Mr. Sison’s wife, Juliet. Mr. Sison has denied any involvement in the massacre, saying in social media posts last week that the accusation is “fabricated.” Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) Spokesperson Col. Bernard M. Banac said in a press briefing Monday that they are already coordinating with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) regarding the case, which is part of standard procedure. He added that they are also on the lookout for the respondents who are still residing in the Philippines. — Gillian M. Cortez

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