Manila, Feb. 8, 2003 (Malaya) - The Communist Party of the Philippines yesterday admitted the arrest, detention and torture of at least 55 cadres in Southern Tagalog in the eighties at the height of the anti-infiltration drive dubbed as "Operation Missing Link."

In a three-page statement, the CPP central committee, the party's decision-making body, also admitted CPP spokesman Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal's participation in the purge but only on a "minor part."

It also denied claims of Manuel Quiambao, a torture victim, that Rosal was one of his torturers.

"Ka Roger had no direct participation in the execution or torture of any of the victims," it said.

"Operation Missing Link" was conducted in 1988 and resulted in the arrest, detention and torture of cadres and members, some of whom were executed.

"Missing Link" came three years after a similar anti-infiltration campaign called Kampanyang Ahos in Mindanao.

The CPP has since condemned the two purging campaigns as "grave errors" and declared that the violation of the victims' rights were "serious crimes against the Party and the revolution."

The CPP assailed personalities responsible for the purges but issued statements or wrote articles shifting the blame on Ka Roger and the Party.

It cited Nathan Quimpo who "masterminded Kampanyang Ahos," Ricardo Reyes who "personally approved Kampanyang Ahos," Arturo Tabara who "personally participated in the torture of those who were arrested in the Visayas," and Nilo dela Cruz, who led the campaign to pursue suspected spies in Metro Manila and who, with the late Filemon "Popoy" Lagman, "virulently opposed the rectification measures taken by the Party's central leadership."

The Nueva Ecija PNP is set to file forcible abduction and murder charges against CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison and Rosal over the slaying in May 2001 of Fr. Dakila Lopez of the Philippine Independent Church.

Chief Insp. Rhoderick Armamento, chief of PNP Nueva Ecija Intelligence and Investigation Bureau, said Lopez was abducted from his residence in San Jose City. His remains were recovered at Mt. Williams last Jan. 21. (By JP LOPEZ, with Jojo de Guzman)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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