PHILIPPINE police will seek the help of the International Criminal Police Organization or Interpol in the arrest of Maoist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison for murder, according to its chief.
“The legal basis for an Interpol red notice is an arrest warrant or court order issued by judicial authorities in the country,” police Director-General Oscar Albayalde told reporters yesterday. “Many of Interpol’s member countries consider a red notice to be a valid request for a provisional arrest.”
Police said it might remove the asylum privilege of Mr. Sison, who is in self-exile in the Netherlands, and seek a red notice from the Interpol.
A red notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and arrest a person pending his extradition, surrender or a similar legal action, according to the Interpol website.
A Manila trial court has ordered the arrest of Mr. Sison, who founded the Communist Party of the Philippines, his wife and 36 other members of the organization for murder.
In an arrest warrant dated Aug. 28, Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina did not recommend bail. The communist leaders were charged for the murder of 15 people in the so-called Inopacan massacre more than three decades ago.
Also ordered arrested were National Democratic Front of the Philippines senior adviser Luis Jalandoni, communist leaders Rodolfo Salas and Leo Velasco as well as Mr. Sison’s wife Juliet.
The case stemmed from the purges in Leyte at the height of the communist insurgency in the 1980s. They were charged with murder after skeletons of alleged victims were discovered in a mass grave in Leyte province in central Philippines.
Mr. Sison has called the list of accused “utterly stupid and obviously fabricated.”
He noted that at the time of the supposed massacre, he was under detention by the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.
He also said news of the charges was meant to take away the public’s attention from the illegal release of about 2,000 prisoners convicted of heinous crimes. — Marc Wyxzel C. Dela Paz