PADEM ouster statement did not come from us–Sison

Jose Maria Sison belied an accusation linking him and an Amsterdam-based web developer to a group claiming to be officers and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) intent on ousting President Rodrigo Duterte.

Reacting to a Philippine Star news report naming web developer Jon Bustamante as the one who uploaded the so-called Patriotic and Democrative Movement (PADEM) statement, Sison said it is silly and speculative for the AFP to even mention him as being close to Bustamante.

The Star report quoted an unnamed cyber expert from the AFP as its source who alleged it was Bustamante who uploaded the PADEM statement on a social domain in Utrecht.

In a statement issued Monday, PADEM said they condemn and hold Duterte accountable for alleged gross crimes that violate national sovereignty and democratic rights of the people.

“We pledge to work for the withdrawal of military and police support for Duterte and his administration in conjunction with mass mobilization of the Filipino people in millions to manifest their demand for the resignation or ouster of Duterte and his administration,” the group’s spokesperson Antonio Bonifacio said.

“Whoever is the cyber expert of [AFP spokesperson] Gen. (Restituto) Padilla, he is merely looking at the name of Jon Bustamante as the one who registered the domain of Pinoy Abrod. Bustamante is a web developer, dealing with internet sites and content—providing services to all his clients,” Sison said.

Bustamante also operates a photography studio in The Netherlands.

Sison said Bustamante received the PADEM statement calling for the ouster of Duterte from the Philippines and the United States of America.

Sison said the statement did not originate from Bustamante.

“[They] are barking up a wrong tree by accusing Jon Bustamante of Pinoy Abrod, an Amsterstam-based publication of overseas Filipino contract workers, as the one-man originator of the call of the PADEM for the ouster of Rodrigo R. Duterte,” Sison said.

Padilla refused to comment on Sison’s statement.

“I have not seen the [Star] report,” Padilla told Kodao. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

(Disclosure: Kodao, as other Philippine media outfits, has utilized Bustamante’s photos in past reports.)