PH may ask Dutch gov’t to send Joma home
The Philippines may consider coordinating with the Dutch government in bringing back exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Jose Maria “Joma” Sison here, even if he said he cannot be extradited from the Netherlands.
Malacañang has brushed off the exiled communist leader’s claim that the Dutch will not violate international law and revoke his status as a protected political refugee as requested by Manila.
“He always says that. The problem is he already has a warrant, so everything he is saying is moot and academic,” said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
Asked if the Philippines will appeal to the Netherlands for aid in bringing back Sison to Manila, Panelo said this may be one of the options if the Dutch government allows it.
The Palace official made the remarks after Sison expressed confidence that the Philippine government could not force his return to Manila, where he is facing an arrest warrant for murder.
The exiled communist leader said he was a protected political refugee and that there is no way he can be extradited to face trial for a 1980s purge of communist rebels in Inopacan, Leyte.
Sison also said there is no extradition treaty between the Philippines and the Netherlands.
Last week, a Manila court issued arrest warrants against Sison and 37 others for the killing of communist rebels suspected of being government spies in the 1980s.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he had spoken with a deputy ambassador of the European Union to ask that Sison’s status as a refugee be revoked.
President Duterte said he did not think he could hold talks with Sison again.
“I do not think that we can have that talks again with Sison. I don’t want to,” he said in a speech in Balanga City, Bataan, on Thursday night. “Because they [communist rebels] do not abide by the law. They always invoke Geneva Convention but they do not follow it. It’s a pure hypocrisy.”
Meanwhile, church groups, peace advocates and human rights defenders on Thursday urged Mr. Duterte to reconsider his renewed order for an all-out war against rebels.
“An all-out war will only bring about a divided country. So all the more we should work for justice, peace negotiations and the culture of dialogue to bring about peace,” said Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, also the cochair of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform.
“What should be done is really to call for all-out peace. Let the whole nation be all about peace,” he added.
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