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THE PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it has asked the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to issue a ‘red notice’ to expedite the arrest of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison for his alleged involvement in the so-called Inopacan massacre in Leyte.

PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde said they are now coordinating with the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC) to start the process against Sison who is currently in self-exile in Utrecht, Netherlands.

“The PNP, thru the PCTC, is making representations with the Interpol for the issuance of a red notice for the arrest of Jose Maria Sison to face trial in the Philippines for the crime of murder,” Albayalde told reporters during the press briefing held at Camp Crame.

A red notice forces police worldwide to go after fugitives who are hiding in their respective countries.

The PCTC is the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) in the Philippines.

“Sison is in self-exile in Utrecht, The Netherlands from where he continues to exercise command and control of the New People’s Army, the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines under the umbrella of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines that is waging a terrorist campaign in some parts of the Philippines,” Albayalde said.

“His wife and co-accused Juliet De Lima Sison is with him in the Netherlands,” he added.

The PNP chief said the legal basis for an Interpol red notice is an arrest warrant or court order issued by judicial authorities in a country.

On Aug. 28, the Regional Trial Court Branch 32 in Manila issued the warrant of arrest against self-exiled Sison and 37 individuals including National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants Luis Jalandoni, Prudencio Calubid, and Geronimo Pasetes.

RTC Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina ordered the arrest of the 38 individuals for their alleged involvement in the so-called Inopacan massacre in Leyte on Sept. 2, 1985. No bail was recommended.

Based on estimates of former rebels and the victims’ relatives, the Inopacan massacre, dubbed by the New People’s Army as “Oplan Venereal Disease”, claimed the lives of about 300 residents in Leyte province.

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

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