Communist rebels condemn Netherlands

Communist rebels on Wednesday condemned the arrest of a top Filipino guerrilla leader in the Netherlands on charges of being involved in murders in the Philippines.

Communist rebels condemn Netherlands
Communist rebels on Wednesday condemned the arrest of a top Filipino guerrilla leader in the Netherlands on charges of being involved in murders in the Philippines.

Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, was arrested on Tuesday in the central Dutch city of Utrecht.

Sison, 68, has been living in self-imposed exile in the Netherlands since 1987.

Fidel Agcaoili, chairman of the communist rebel negotiating panel, said Sison's arrest was "bound to terminate" peace talks with the Philippine government.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the arrest of Sison ... on the basis of trumped-up charges by the Philippine government," he said in a statement.

"The negotiating panel will await instructions from the leadership of the revolutionary movement in the Philippines on the fate of the peace negotiations in light of the arrest of Sison," he added.

According to Dutch authorities, Sison was arrested on suspicion of ordering the murder of two former allies in the Philippines. He is to be indicted by the Examining Judge at Court in The Hague on Friday.

The Philippine military has also blamed Sison for the murders of thousands of comrades during a purge of alleged military spies in the 1980s.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo hailed the arrest, saying, "It's a giant step toward peace, a victory for justice and the rule of law."

Peace talks between the Philippine government and communist rebels have been suspended since August 2004.

Efforts to resume the negotiations have failed with the rebels demanding that Manila first take steps to remove them from foreign terrorist blacklists.

Communist rebels have been fighting the Philippine government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running leftist insurgencies in Asia.

DPA
Last Mod: 29 Ağustos 2007, 11:38
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