Joma Sison: Tiamzons’ arrest will not cripple left

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Photo from the PNP

Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said the arrest of Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma Austria will not cripple the Philippine left. “To use basketball parlance, I say the CPP has a deep bench.” This is not the way the military sees it. Armed Forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista said Tiamzon’s arrest will result in a “vacuum in leadership.” President Benigno Aquino III also said the Tiamzons’ arrest delivers “a serious blow” to the CPP. The military holds Tiamzon responsible for “the landmining, the killings, and the violence of the NPA.” The two top cadres were captured in Cebu on March 22.  The couple claims their arrest is illegal and they are covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) under peace talks with the government. Chief government negotiator Alex Padilla refuted this, saying the two aren’t covered by immunity. He said the verification process in 2012 failed because of lapses by the National Democratic Front. Leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s (Bayan) Carol Araullo said in the aftermath that the Jasig has become a “bounty list.”

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