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Anakbayan, LFS hail Joma release as 'victory'

Leftist youth groups Anakbayan and the League of Filipino Students on Friday hailed as a “victory" the release of Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma" Sison by Dutch authorities. "Prof. Sison's release is a victory for all freedom-loving youths and the national democratic movement as a whole," said LFS chair Vencer Crisostomo in a statement. "The decision of Dutch courts just proves how baseless and politically-motivated Prof. Sison's arrest and detention are," said Anakbayan chair Eleanor de Guzman in the same statement. Anakbayan and LFS both launched 'Free Joma' campaigns when Sison was arrested last August 28 by Dutch authorities for allegedly ordering the murder in the Philippines of former CPP leaders Romulo Kintanar in 2003 and Arturo Tabara in 2006. The CPP, which Sison founded in 1968, and its armed wing, the 6,300-strong New People’s Army, have waged a Maoist rebellion for nearly four decades. Sison has been on self-exile in The Netherlands since 1987. The youth groups added that they will join other organizations led by the Bagong Alyansang Makbayan (Bayan) in a "victory rally" for Sison's release later in the day. Anakbayan and LFS also called on the resignation of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales for "meddling" and "maliciously setting the conditions" for Sison's arrest. "He (Gonzales) even confirmed reports that he invited Dutch authorities to his office prior to the arrest. This is evidence that the Philippine government, through Sec. Gonzales, had a direct hand in Prof. Sison's political persecution," de Guzman said. Crisostomo also called on the Dutch government to unfreeze Sison's bank account and that the CPP founder be removed from the European Union’s list of terrorists. A Dutch court ordered Sison’s release on September 13 due to lack of evidence to detain him for his murder case. The government says that the 68-year-old Sison continues to lead communist rebels although the CPP founder now describes himself as “chief political consultant" of the National Democratic Front, which groups the CPP-NPA and several other underground organizations. -GMANews.TV