MANILA

Palace on Leyte massacre ruling: Sison should 'face the music'

COMMUNIST movement founder Jose Maria Sison should end his self-exile in the Netherlanda and pay the price for his role in the mass execution in Inopacan, Leyte in the 1980s, Malacañang said on Friday, September 6.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the call after Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 ordered the arrest of Sison, his wife, and 36 others communist insurgents for the decade-old multiple murder case in Inopacan, Leyte.

"Mr. Sison should unchain himself from his exile and face the music. His illusive, if not illusory dream of wresting political from the present dispensation, should give way to a principled and courageous stand to face trial," Panelo said in a statement.

"He is welcome to come home to avail of his constitutional right to confront his accusers and prepare for his defense," he added.

Sison and his wife, Juliet, have lived in Europe since the late 1980s after his release from jail following the fall of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Presiding Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina on August 28 ordered the arrest of Sison and his co-accused involved in the so-called "Inopacan massacre," the 1980s mass purging of communist rebels suspected to have links with the military.

The murder case against Sison and other members of the communist movement were filed in 2006 after skeletal remains of 67 alleged victims were exhumed in Subang Daku village in Inopacan town on August 28 the same year.

No bail was recommended for the accused.

Panelo said the Palace respects the Manila court's decision on the purge of communist members in Leyte province.

"The law is no respecter of any transgressor and prosecution therefor must proceed in accordance thereof. Mr. Sison, et al. will have their day in court," he said.

"We are one with the families and loved ones of the victims in calling for justice, the warrant of arrest shall be served as directed upon us by the Judiciary," he added. (SunStar Philippines)


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