A court in Manila on Monday started the trial of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-NPA) founder Jose Maria Sison and 37 others for their alleged involvement in a massacre more than 30 years ago.
Sison, his wife Juliet, and 36 others are facing 15 counts of murder before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32.
National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr. will stand as witness in the hearing, to be presided by Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina.
“It is high time that the CPP-NPA be held accountable for the atrocities they have committed against our people, through the application of the judicial process,” Esperon said.
Esperon filed the case when he was the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The court issued warrants of arrest last year.
On August 28, 2006, soldiers unearthed the skeletal remains of some 67 individuals in a mass grave in Mt. Sapang Dako in Inopacan town in Leyte, two decades after the rebel group purged suspected military informers from its ranks.