Return Joma! Thousands join anti-communist rallies on CPP’s 51st anniversary

Anti-communist groups, including former members of the New People's Army (NPA), hold a rally condemning the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA) / photo from PNA

Manila, Philippines – Around 8,000 rallyists belonging to various multisectoral groups assembled on Thursday in different areas in Luzon to condemn the atrocities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as the CPP marks its 51st year on Dec. 26.

About 8,700 protesters, came together in five areas in Metro Manila and two areas in Laguna and Angeles City, Pampanga, asking the government to start the extradition treaty between the Netherlands and Philippines, in an effort to send exiled CPP founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison back the Philippines.

"Joma doesn't have any status in the Netherlands anymore. He has no passport and visa so why is he still being coddled there?" Arlene Escalante said, League of Parents in the Philippines (LPP) spokesperson, pertaining to Sison who has been in self-exile in the Netherlands since 1987.

For Escalante, CPP-NPA members, should not have its 52nd anniversary.

“This communist group is nonsense. It's just a waste of battle and killing of our citizens and children (persists) for over 50 years. It should be stopped now," she added.

Sison's return to the Philippines could help stop the terroristic attacks perpetrated by the communist terrorist groups, according to Escalante.

More groups will continue to hold rallies in front of the Dutch Embassy as a show of force for the Dutch government to act on the extradition, the LPP spokesperson said.

Recently, protesters which included former members of the NPA gathered at the EDSA Shrine, wore masks of Sison and Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate with devil horns, as they demanded the return of the CPP founder back to the Philippines to face charges against him.

In Parañaque City, even Southern Police District (SPD) Director Nolasco Bathan painted on the face of Sison, as protesters rallied the public to support the government counterinsurgency campaign.

These protesters held simultaneous rallies at Bonifacio Monument, Liwasang Bonifacio in Plaza Lawton, along Service Road corner Roxas Blvd in Parañaque, EDSA Shrine corner Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City, Commonwealth corner University Avenues in Diliman, Quezon City, Crossing in Calamba City, Laguna, and Salakot, Balibago in Angeles City, Pampanga, to raised their concerns about the recruitment schemes by militant youth groups in schools.

"Many of our youths have been recruited and are being sent to the mountains," Escalante said.
Escalante assured that the LPP will fully support the government's campaign to end the more than 50 years of communist armed conflict. As mothers of recruited students decry the activities communist-front groups, begging the latter to return the children back to their families.
"10 years from now, I hope and I pray there will be no more CPP-NPA members celebrating another anniversary. The insurgency must be stopped now. We're not just fighting for our country, we're also fighting for our children," Escalante added.
The CPP-NPA-NDF is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. 
Source: PNA

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