‘Big liar’: Joma belies Esperon’s claim he ordered the killing of NTF-ELCAC spokespersons

National Democratic Front of the Philippines chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison belied allegations by national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. he issued an order to kill counter-insurgency task force spokespersons.

“Esperon is a big liar in claiming that I have released an order to kill the so-called talking heads of NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) and other officials of the security sector of the Duterte regime,” Sison said in a statement Saturday, May 22.

Esperon on Friday alleged the military stopped the plot after a so-called joint police and military operation killed three alleged New People’s Army (NPA) fighters in Sta. Rosa, Laguna last week.

News reports said those killed were identified as Rommel Rizza alias “Jomar/Bernie,” the alleged commanding officer of the NPA’s Regional Special Operations Group in Southern Tagalog; “Ka Blue/Billy,” a medic and supply officer; and “Ka Dean,” the group’s intelligence officer.

“One of their missions is to hit NTF-ELCAC talking heads. However, they were pre-empted,” Esperson, task force vice chairperson, said.

Sison however said Esperon’s claim is “pure concoction” as he is not in any position to issue such an order to any organ, unit or individual in the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA.

“Whoever is the current CPP chairman cannot issue an order, like the tyrant (Philippine President Rodrigo) Duterte, without collective decision-making,” Sison explained.

Sison, a 35-year political refugee in The Netherlands, said he is proud to carry the historic title of CPP founding chairperson but has not personally participated in any collective decision-making by the party’s central committee since his arrest in 1977.

Sison said Esperon is obviously covering up two obvious instances of extrajudicial killings (one in Baras, Rizal and now Sta. Rosa City, Laguna) by referring to his name and linking them to the three victims of the Sta. Rosa operations without offering any evidence.

Assassination plot

Instead, Sison said he has more evidence that his life is again under threat from Philippine government agents who are plotting to assassinate him in The Netherlands since last year.

He said no less than the Dutch police have called his attention to the current threat since March 2020.

“An informant has also come forward last year to report that there is such a plot to assassinate me. Since then, I have taken all necessary precautions,” Sison said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)