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Philippine intelligence agencies want to see communist documents seized by Dutch police

Philippine intelligence agencies want to see communist documents seized by Dutch police

Philippine intelligence agencies want to see documents seized during raids this week by Dutch police as they arrested the founder of the Philippine communist party, the defense secretary said Friday.
Jose Maria Sison, 68, was arrested Tuesday in the central Dutch city of Utrecht _ where he has lived in exile for 20 years _ on charges he ordered the killing of two former rebel leaders who broke away from the mainstream party.
"Definitely, anybody would really be interested (in the documents), not only the armed forces intelligence establishment," Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. told reporters.
"However, whether that is permissible under Dutch law, given the fact that there are criminal proceedings, is another matter to address," he said.
Carol Araullo, head of the left-wing Bayan federation, said the Dutch police "cleaned out" Sison's residence and those of other leaders of the Philippine Marxist umbrella organization, the National Democratic Front, seizing computers, disks, documents and personal diaries.
Araullo denounced the Dutch police actions as a "fishing expedition" looking for information to build up their terrorism case against Sison and the others.
Teodoro said he will await the action of the Philippine departments of justice and foreign affairs in seeking access to the documents from the exiled communist leaders.
Sison was accused of ordering the killing of former communist New People's Army commander Romulo Kintanar in 2003, and another rebel leader, Arturo Tabara, a year later. Sison was already living in the Netherlands at that time.
In 1992, Kintanar and Tabara broke away from the mainstream Communist Party of the Philippines due to differences over whether to pursue Maoist revolutionary strategy, upon which Sison founded the party in 1968 and its armed wing in 1969.
It is believed likely the Dutch police will allow Filipino authorities access to the communist documents because Manila helped the families of Kintanar and Tabara file the murder case against Sison in the Netherlands.
National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales earlier said Dutch prosecutors had asked for help during several visits to the Philippines, where they interviewed "a lot of possible witnesses" in the case.
Teodoro said he expects Sison's arrest will weaken the rebel movement.
"A key element of their front has been incarcerated and definitely it will have some effect," he said.
Sison has denied he is still party chairman, saying he is serving only as a consultant for communist peace negotiators in on-and-off talks.


Updated : 2021-06-13 11:14 GMT+08:00