MURDER RAPS VS. JOMA BEFORE INTENATIONAL CRIME COURT

Manila, Jan. 28, 2003 (Tribune) - Malacaņang is planning to bring to the international community the criminal liability of exiled communist leader Jose Ma. Sison over the slaying of former rebel chieftain Romulo Kintanar.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) was apparently ordered by the Palace to file criminal charges against Sison before the United Nations due to the absence of an extradition treaty between the country and The Netherlands, where the communist leader has been on exile since 1986.

But according to presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye, they have ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to inform the international community of this matter so that justice could be served to Kintanar's family.

"The President indicated she would like to bring this matter to the attention of the international community and that efforts should be exerted to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice," he said.

The Palace spokesman stressed they will let the international community decide on Sison's fate whether he will be extradited to the Philippines or face an international tribunal.

Malacaņang said Sison and New People's Army (NPA) spokesman Rogelio "Ka Roger" Rosal's admittance of responsibility over the killing of Kintanar would be a strong evidence against the two.

"Admission versus interest is admissible so as indicated in the past charges, Bunye stressed.

The other day, the CPP-NPA leadership admitted it was the brains behind the slaying of Kintanar because of the latter's alleged "criminal and counter-revolutionary acts."

Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes said the government will request the extradition of Sison.

Reyes admitted the country does not have an extradition treaty with The Netherlands, but said the government will look for other options.

He said the Defense department will cooperate with the Justice and Foreign Affairs departments to ensure Sison would be returned to the country after almost two decades of self-exile.

He stressed that the government cannot allow the CPP-NPA to assassinate its members who have returned to the folds of the law. Chief Supt. Marcelo Ele, PNP directorate for investigation and detective management acting chief, said Sison will have to answer for the assassination of Kintanar and former NPA henchman Louie Reyes, who was shot in Bulacan a day after Kintanar was killed in Quezon City.

According to Ele, the case against Sison was based on the principle of "command responsibility" after NPA Rosal owned up the killing of Kintanar.

Sison has denied his group carried out the killing and pointed to the United States' Central Intelligence Agency as the culprit.

Kintanar was gunned down by two assailants, said to be from the NPA Special Unit, while having lunch at the Kamameshi House inside the Quezon City Circle.

Ele said the PNP will undertake the filing of appropriate criminal charges against Sison before the United Nations Anti-Terrorism Program as ordered by President Arroyo, not only over Kintanar's killing but all other crimes committed by the CPP-NPA.

The police are now gathering evidence against Sison, which the PNP will forward to the DFA for appropriate action.

"The government will have to send its representative to the UN to discuss the matter," he added.

The police organization, Ele noted, is also consolidating evidence against other NPA leaders, including Rosal.


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