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Soldiers name 2 dogs, cat after Tiamzon couple, Joma Sison

Meet Ben, Wilma and Joma—not the communist leaders, but two dogs and a cat.

The three animals were taken into military custody following the arrest of their owners — ranking communist leaders Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma Austria — last Saturday in Cebu.

“It's just incidental. We couldn't think of names so we named them Ben, Wilma and Joma," said Lt. Jim Alagao, spokesman for the military's Central Command, on Thursday.

Alagao said two Shitsu dogs were named Ben and Wilma, while a Persian cat was named Joma, after Jose Maria Sison, the self-exiled founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

The three animals were with the Tiamzon couple when they were arrested together with five others in Aloguinsan town in Cebu by virtue of arrest warrants for multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder.


Alagao, however, said they are not mocking the communist leaders.

“The names were given by those taking care of them... by the troops watching over them,” he said, even as he admitted that they do not know the actual gender of the animals.

The animals will be turned over to the Island Rescue Organization (IRO), a group of animal rights advocates, on Friday morning.

Alagao said the IRO offered to provide food for the animals.

He said the group agreed to take custody of the animals on condition that they will be returned to their rightful owners on orders of the court.

Expensive animal food

Alagao also said the three pets in their custody were fed with Royale Canine food that were also found at the Tiamzon couple's van during their arrest.

“They are believed to be worth P2,000 per pack, which can be consumed in one month by only one [pet]. That would mean they spend roughly P14,000 for the seven pets on pet food alone," said Alagao.

He said the P2,000 the couple spend for the food of a pet for one month is way higher than what the soldiers receive as combat pay, which is only P500 every month. — KBK, GMA News