For years, exiled Philippine communist leader Jose Maria Sison was convinced communism would triumph and he would return home much like Lenin, his Russian role model. But such a triumphant return now seems far-fetched for Sison, who was expected to be indicted on double murder charges yesterday before a court in the Netherlands. If convicted, he will be jailed for life. 'The trial of Sison is certain to dredge up the murder not only of [Romulo] Kintanar and [Arturo] Tabara but also a number of killings of [Communist Party of the Philippines] members attributed by security authorities to the communist leadership,' wrote veteran political commentator Armando Doronilla in the Daily Inquirer newspaper yesterday. Although Sison now calls himself a 'consultant' to Asia's oldest rebel movement, he is widely perceived as the boss of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People's Army, both of which he founded 38 years ago. The charges against Sison, who fled to the Netherlands in 1987, were filed by the Dutch National Criminal Investigation Department after he was arrested at his home in Utrecht on Tuesday. Dutch police spent a year preparing the case and made a covert trip to Manila to interview witnesses after the widows of two slain top-ranking party members, Kintanar and Tabara, filed criminal complaints in the Netherlands. Sison has been brought before Philippine courts on similar murder charges. This time, it appears he stands a greater chance of being convicted. Both plaintiffs, Gloria Kintanar and Veronica Tabara, know the party well and said they would testify against Sison. In a statement posted on its website, the national prosecutor's office in The Hague said it had found probable cause against Sison. '[Sison] was suspected of giving orders from the Netherlands to murder his former political associates in the Philippines, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara. 'It was claimed by the New People's Army, in an official publication in which reference was made to a sentencing by the special People's Court. A special unit of the New People's Army allegedly punished Kintanar for his crimes against the revolution and the people.' Kintanar, the former chief of the New People's Army, was shot dead in January 2003 in a Japanese restaurant in suburban Manila. The prosecutor's office noted that Kintanar's top lieutenant, Tabara, was killed in similar fashion in a suburban Manila mall parking lot. Even if Sison is acquitted, the trial could place the communist movement he founded under the microscope and could alter the face and direction of communism in the Philippines. As rebel army chief, Kintanar raised a 25,000-strong fighting force. Under his command, the rebels shot to international prominence when they abducted a Japanese businessman in 1986 and assassinated a US army colonel in 1989. A disillusioned former rebel suggested why Kintanar had to be eliminated. Nathan Gilbert Quimpo wrote soon after the slaying: 'Kintanar was killed because, over a certain period at least, he had dared to oppose [Sison]'.