Archive for the ‘Joma’ Category

Sison: I was Confident of Dismissal of Raps

April 21, 2009

Prof. Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), was happy when the Dutch Public Prosecution Service decided to dismiss the charges against him for inciting murder in relation to the killings of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara – former Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leaders who broke away from the group and became security consultants of the Philippine government. It meant, for him, more time for his work both for the NDFP Peace Panel and the ILPS International Coordinating Committee. He had always been confident, he said, that the charges against him would eventually be dismissed.

BY ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
Bulatlat

Prof. Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), was happy when the Dutch Public Prosecution Service decided to dismiss the charges against him for inciting murder in relation to the killings of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara – former Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leaders who broke away from the group and became security consultants of the Philippine government.

It meant, for him, more time for his work both for the NDFP Peace Panel and the ILPS International Coordinating Committee.

He had always been confident, he said, that the charges against him would eventually be dismissed.

“I was confident because of several reasons,” he said in an e-mail interview with Bulatlat. “First of all, I had nothing to do with the killing of the security consultants and military assets Kintanar and Tabara. Secondly, I had excellent Dutch and Filipino lawyers who undertook my legal defense. Thirdly, I had the abundant support of the people and organized forces worldwide.”

He admitted, though, that fighting this particular battle took some toll on him, especially in terms of the time he could have devoted to his work both as NDFP chief political consultant and ILPS chairperson. He was also “vexed for a long while,” he says, and he suffered moral and material damages. He and his family were financially burdened by the costs of the legal battle.

Professor, writer, revolutionary

Sison – a poet, essayist, and political analyst – taught English and Social Science courses at his alma mater, the University of the Philippines (UP), and the Lyceum of the Philippines in the 1960s, after graduating with honors in 1959.

He founded the progressive organizations Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines (SCAUP) and Kabataang Makabayan (KM). He was later also involved in the workers’ and peasant movements through the Lapiang Manggagawa (Workers Party) and the Malayang Samahan ng Magsasaka (MASAKA or Free Association of Peasants). He became secretary-general of the Socialist Party of the Philippines (SPP) and, later, the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism (MAN).

But he is best known as the founding chairman of the CPP. In 1968 he led a group that broke away from the leadership of the Lava brothers in the old Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) due to ideological differences, and re-established the party as the CPP.

Under Sison’s leadership, the CPP rapidly gained strength and together with the New People’s Army (NPA), its armed component, which was founded in 1969, it developed into one of the strongest organized forces opposed to the US-Marcos regime during the martial law years.

He was the CPP’s highest-ranking leader from its reestablishment until he was arrested by the Marcos dictatorship in 1977.

Released in 1986 by virtue of then President Corazon Aquino’s general amnesty proclamation for political prisoners, Sison got involved in a number of legal political activities and even delivered a series of lectures at UP.

In 1988, he found himself having to apply for political asylum after the Aquino government cancelled his passport while he was in Europe on a speaking tour. He has since lived in the Netherlands as an asylum seeker.

Terror listing

In 2002, the CPP-NPA was included by the U.S. Department of State in its list of “foreign terrorist organizations”. Sison was also listed as a “foreign terrorist”. The Dutch government listed the CPP-NPA and Sison in its own terror list a day after the US listing.

According to Jan Fermon, one of Sison’s lawyers, the Dutch Foreign Ministry admitted in its website that the inclusion of the CPP-NPA and Sison in its list of terrorists was done to comply with the request of the US government. It likewise stated that 150 Dutch companies have investments in the Philippines and that Holland is one of the major investors now in the country. It added that the only burden in the relationship between Holland and the Philippines is the presence of what they called the communist leadership in Utrecht.

The Netherlands is at present one of the leading US allies in Europe – next only to the United Kingdom.

The Council of the European Union followed suit in listing Sison as a “terrorist” later that year.

On May 29, 2007, the Council of the European Union decided to retain Sison in its “terrorist” list. This decision was annulled by the July 11 verdict of the European Court of First Instance (ECFI).

Insufficient evidence

On Aug. 28 that same year, Sison was arrested by Dutch police in Utrecht for allegedly ordering the murders of Kintanar and Tabara in 2003 and 2004, respectively – an accusation he has denied. His apartment, the homes of a few other NDFP negotiators, and the NDFP International Office were raided and several important items like computers, hard disks, and files related to the NDFP’s peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) were taken.

The CPP-NPA leadership in the Philippines has owned up to the killings of both Kintanar and Tabara, citing them for “crimes against the Revolution”.

On Sept. 13, 2007, the District Court of The Hague ordered Sison’s release due to lack of direct and sufficient evidence against him.

On Jan. 18 the next year, however, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service announced that it would continue its investigation of Sison’s alleged involvement in the killings of Kintanar and Tabara.

Last week, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service finally dismissed the charges against him for “insufficient legal and convincing evidence”.

In a press statement released after the dismissal of the charges, Sison called on the Dutch government to prosecute those who were involved in assassination attempts against him from 1999 to 2001. He also said he and his lawyers are considering further legal action against the Dutch government.

His thoughts on this and other related issues and developments are made known in this interview with Bulatlat. Following is the full text of the interview:

How did the charge of inciting murder affect you and your work, both as NDFP chief political consultant and as ILPS chairperson?

It took away time, attention and resources that I should have devoted to my work as NDFP chief political consultant and ILPS chairperson. I was detained for a while and vexed for a long while by the refusal of the prosecutor to heed the decision of the examining judge to terminate the investigation. I had to pay attention to my legal defense and had to have frequent consultations with my Dutch and Filipino lawyers. I was subjected to character assassination. I suffered moral and material damages. My wife Julie had to borrow money to pay for the costs of my legal defense.

What made you confident of the eventual dismissal of the case?

I was confident because of several reasons. First of all, I had nothing to do with the killing of the security consultants and military assets Kintanar and Tabara. Secondly, I had excellent Dutch and Filipino lawyers who undertook my legal defense. Thirdly, I had the abundant support of the people and organized forces worldwide.

There was no real incriminating evidence against me because of my innocence. On the other hand, my Filipino lawyers Attys. Romeo T. Capulong, Rachel F. Pastores and Amylyn Sato of the Public Interest Law Center collected more than enough evidence and witnesses in my legal defense.

Attorney Capulong wrote a memorandum pointing out that the Kintanar and Tabara incidents had been previously used as false specifications in the charge of rebellion against me and 50 others. The Philippine Supreme Court had ordered the dismissal of this charge in June 2007. The records of the police, prosecution and court in the city and region where the incidents occurred never included me as a suspect.

My Dutch lawyers Michiel Pestman as lead, Victor Koppe and Suus Hopman of the Bohler, Franken, Koppe and Wijngaarden law firm are topnotch in Dutch and international criminal law and had the prompt cooperation of my Filipino lawyers. They were also backed by the consultants Prof. Ties Prakken who is an authority on criminal law; Jan Fermon, my lead lawyer in my case against the “terrorist” blacklist; Bernard Tomlow who is the lawyer of the NDFP; and Dundar Gurses of the Schoolplein Advocaten.

I have enjoyed the solidarity and support of the people and organized forces in the Philippines, Netherlands and many other countries. Immediately after my arrest in August 2007, protest actions against Dutch embassies and consulates occurred in more than twenty cities of the world. The International DEFEND Committee, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle and all the progressive organizations of Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad cooperated in bringing about an international campaign to defend and support me.

Do you think the US, Philippine, and Dutch governments knew all along that they did not have a strong case against you, but pushed it anyway as a way of derailing you from your work for the NDFP Peace Panel and the ILPS?

The false charge of inciting murder was devised by the US, Philippine and Dutch governments more in order to fish evidence for the bigger false charge of terrorism against me and others in the NDFP Negotiating Panel than to derail me from my work for the panel and the ILPS. Of course, the false charges of murder and terrorism are both meant to pressure the entire panel towards capitulation in the peace negotiations with the Manila government.

The three governments have repeatedly used false charges against me in order to oppress me. They have a common position of waging a relentless ideological struggle against me. They have used false charges to block my application for political asylum and residence since 1988; to justify my inclusion in the so-called terrorist blacklist since 2002; and to arrest and detain me and conduct the raids in 2007.

They have collaborated in using the false charge of inciting murder as pretext for arresting me, raiding the NDF information office and homes of the members, consultants and staffers and seizing documents and personal properties. These were done as fishing expedition to seek evidence against all of us to back up the bigger false charge of terrorism.

As a consequence, the Dutch government and the Council of the European Union are maliciously claiming that the Dutch district and appellate courts that released me from pre-trial detention in the case of inciting murder have practically judged me as a “terrorist” by declaring that there are “indications” that I play a “prominent role” in the Communist Party of the Philippines which heads or is linked to the New People’s Army.

The non sequitur use of a passing statement in a court judgment in my favor on a charge of inciting murder is actually carried by the latest arguments of the Council of the European Union against my application for the removal of my name from the terrorist blacklist before the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.

How many assassination attempts were perpetrated against you from 1999 to 2001, and who perpetrated these?

JMS: In the period of 1999 to 2001, certain national police officials and their assets like Romulo Kintanar sent assassination teams twice to the Netherlands and made two or three attempts to assassinate me. Even the Dutch police team investigating the charge against me turned up some of the witnesses and documentary evidence validating my previous complaints against the assassination attempts.

But the Dutch Public Prosecution Service has failed to prosecute those involved in the assassination attempts against me on Dutch soil. Thus, I have filed before the Dutch appellate court a complaint against the Dutch prosecution service since June 2008. If my complaint does not prosper in the Netherlands, I will have to pursue the case up to the level of the European Court on Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Does the dismissal of the charge of inciting murder make you more optimistic about having your name stricken off the Council of the European Union’s “terrorist list”?

On April 30, 2009, there will be the final oral hearing before the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg concerning my complaint against the Council of the European Union for continuing to put my name in the so-called terrorist blacklist. In view of the dismissal of the charge of inciting murder, I am optimistic that the European court will grant my demand for the removal of my name from the blacklist.

As I have earlier pointed out in this interview, the Dutch government and the Council of the European are trying to misappropriate and misuse the passing statement of the Dutch district and appellate courts that there are “indications” that I play a “prominent” role in the CPP which heads the NPA. But it is obvious from said court decisions and the dismissal of the charge of inciting murder that there is no conclusive proof that I am Armando Liwanag and that I am culpable for the actions of the NPA in the killing of the two military agents Kintanar and Tabara or any other incident.

On the basis of things taken during the raids of August 2007, there may be indications galore that I have some kind of connection to the CPP and other allied organizations of the NDFP, including the NPA. But that is entirely because of the circumstance that I am the chief political consultant of the NDFP panel negotiating peace with the Manila government. I receive and study documents of the NDFP and its allied organizations for the purpose of peace negotiations and not for the purpose of waging war or anything that may be deemed as “terrorism.”

If from my arrest and the raids of August 2007 evidence was discovered that I had committed the crime of terrorism or some other serious crime, then the Dutch prosecution would have filed the appropriate charge against me. Under Dutch law, one may be accused of a certain crime and may be subsequently charged for another crime or other crimes in the course of investigation. But the pure and simple fact is that the Dutch prosecution service dismissed the murder charge and found no cause and no evidence for another charge.

Aside from legal moves against the Dutch government, are you and Attorney Pestman also considering legal moves against the Philippine government?

Attorney Pestman and I have not yet considered any legal move against the Manila government. I can raise the matter to him when I see him next. And I can communicate with Atty. Romeo T. Capulong. In the meantime, I am pleased that Bayan (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, New Patriotic Alliance) and other groups in the Philippines are calling the National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales to task and want him to account for the misappropriation of public funds in fabricating false charges, false witnesses and false evidence against me.

The Arroyo regime has become utterly notorious throughout the world for using false charges to demonize its opponents and set them up either for arrest and detention or for abduction, torture and murder by death squads. The UN Alston report has exposed these grave human rights violations and has recommended the dissolution of the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG). But still the human right violations are being committed with impunity. And IALAG persists.

The Arroyo regime fed the Dutch foreign and justice ministries and the Dutch police and prosecution with the false charge, false witnesses and false testimonies against me. But the Dutch Public Prosecution Service has shamelessly proclaimed to the whole world in a press release that it cannot pursue the charge of inciting murder against me supposedly because it has run into a wall of fear preventing witnesses to testify against me.

That is a big lie. The wall of fear is definitely due to the brutal Arroyo regime and not due to me. No less than the Dutch Appellate Court declared in its judgment on my case in 2007 that there is a political context of unreliable witnesses against me and that it is doubtful whether I the defendant can get my own witnesses and cross-examine the witnesses against me in the Philippines. (Bulatlat.com)

Advertisements

World Crisis to Adversely Affect China Too – Sison

October 30, 2008

The current GDP of China is reportedly already USD 3.251 trillion. But China is a huge country with a huge population of 1.33 billion. With a per capita income of only around US$ 2,700, China is still a very poor country, a far cry from the US per capita income of US$ 46,000 in 2007. China and the Philippines have per capita incomes of nearly $2,500 and $1,500, respectively in 2007. Both of them are still ranked below the more than 100 countries with higher per capita income and are among the poor countries of the world. But China has more capacity than the Philippines in coping with the crisis and will more than ever regard the Philippines as a profitable client in the vicinity.

BY NOEL SALES BARCELONA
Bulatlat

As the world’s stocks free fall and the world economy slides towards the brink of a recession comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Peoples’ Republic of China appears to be better prepared than others.

China’s economy grew by 9.9 percent during the first quarter of 2008. During the third quarter, growth only slipped to nine percent, with decreasing demand for Chinese exports being the main reason for the slide.

During the October 4 Kapihan sa Sulo on the melamine milk scandal involving China, Chito Sta. Romana, ABC television producer in Peking (Beijing), shared his insights not only about why the melamine milk scandal in China happened but also about China, its economy and politics.

Sta. Romana concluded that China is Leninist in politics but capitalist in its economy; US-Chinese relations are “tied on the hips”; the economy of China is now expanding and it’s tilting the balance in world economic affairs; and it wanted to bring more muscle to emerging economies in Asia like India and Indonesia so that the “monopoly” of power of America will be lessen or dispersed. Sta. Romana also said that China doesn’t want to become an imperialist, like the US.

Bulatlat interviewed Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, regarding his views on China and his comments on the insights shared by his former comrade Chito Sta. Romana.

Bulatlat: Is there such a thing as capitalist-Leninist China?

Sison: The expression “capitalist-Leninist” is an oxymoron. Indeed, China’s economy is capitalist. But it is not Leninist in politics because state power is not in the hands of the working class.

Bulatlat: How do you see the current relationship between China and the US, both in economy and polity? Sta. Romana said, they’re “tied on the hips.”

Sison: In a sense, the two countries are “tied on the hips”. They can gyrate together in the current global economic and financial crisis. China has become dependent on exports to the US, which are now hard hit by the contraction of US consumer demand. And the values of China’s US dollar holdings, US treasury bills and bonds, US corporate bonds and securities are seriously undercut and damaged by the current crisis.

Bulatlat: By 2010 or maybe later, China’s economy is projected to amount more than US$3 trillion. Considering this, what would be the effect of China on the global economy and the capitalist system?

Sison: The current GDP of China is reportedly already USD 3.251 trillion. But China is a huge country with a huge population of 1.33 billion. With a per capita income of only around US$ 2,700, China is still a very poor country, a far cry from the US per capita income of US$ 46,000 in 2007. China and the Philippines have per capita incomes of nearly $2,500 and $1,500, respectively in 2007. Both of them are still ranked below the more than 100 countries with higher per capita income and are among the poor countries of the world.

Bulatlat: Do you believe that China will become a superpower, economically and politically, while it is said to be “refusing to deploy its army the world over” unlike what the US has done? Or is China now a superpower?

Sison: China has a weak economic base for becoming a superpower. Its military strength is limited to a defensive position. In fact, it is the object of military containment as well as economic engagement by the US.

Bulatlat: What do you think would be the moves of the Chinese government with regards the conflicting claims on the Spratly islands? Sta. Romana was quoted as saying that the Chinese government is now willing to buy the islands for US$2 billion or more.

Sison: The Chinese government seems to prefer the diplomatic approach within the ASEAN-China framework of constructive dialogue and cooperative relations regarding the Spratlys. However, the high bureaucrats and big compradors of China and the Philippines are constantly cooking up deals. The rulers of the Philippines are unprincipled and corrupt enough to sell Philippine interest in the Spratly islands to foreign buyers.

Bulatlat: What do you think of the melamine-tainted milk scandal now hounding China, especially since two milk products, which were found to be toxic, Yili and Mengniu were produced by state corporations?

Sison: The most unscrupulous and worst kinds of capitalist criminals are bred in countries in which capitalism has emerged from the dismantling of socialism by corrupt bureaucrats and their partners in the so-called free market. The US food monopolies have seized the melamine incidents to discourage the purchase of Chinese products in the global market.

Bulatlat: Please give your forecast on the effects of the global economic turmoil and the fast-growing Chinese economy on the Philippines and the Philippine revolution.

Sison: The global economic and financial crisis will worsen at least in the next two years and may extend to as long as 10 years. The Chinese economy will be adversely affected. But China has more capacity than the Philippines in coping with the crisis and will more than ever regard the Philippines as a profitable client in the vicinity.

The worsening crisis generates conditions favorable for the advance of the Philippine revolution. (Bulatlat.com)

On the current global financial crisis

September 27, 2008

Written by Prof. Jose Ma. Sison

I wish to comment on the gravity of the current financial crisis of the world capitalist system and on the impact of this in the various major contradictions in the world, with special attention to the people’s resistance in Asia, Africa and Latin America and in the imperialist countries.

Gravity of the global financial crisis

The economic and financial crisis of the US and world capitalist system has worsened to a new and unprecedented level since the Great Depression. This signifies the utter failure of the attempt of the US and other imperialist powers to overcome the problem of stagflation under Keynesianism with the policy shift to neoliberalism. Instead, the latter policy has aggravated and deepened the crisis of overproduction in the real economy and has given free rein to the abuses of finance capitalism.

The states of imperialist and other countries have adopted the policy to press down wage levels and cut back social spending. They have allowed the monopoly bourgeoisie to accelerate the concentration and centralization of productive and finance capital in its hands through the denationalization of underdeveloped economies, privatization of public assets, liberalization of investments and trade and deregulation at the expense of the working people, women, children and the environment-all in the name of “free market” globalization.

The consistent result has been the actual contraction of the world market, as the purchasing power of the working people has declined and has limited the demand for the products of expanded production. Ever intent on maximizing profits by raising the organic composition of capital (constant capital over variable capital), the monopoly bourgeoisie has reduced industrial employment and regular employment in imperialist countries by shifting production to a few other countries, like China, India and the Southeast Asian countries, in order to avail of cheap labor.

The illusion of economic growth has been conjured for the entire world capitalist system through the wanton expansion of money supply and credit. The imperialist states and nearly all other states have gone into unrestrained local and foreign borrowing to cover trade and budgetary deficits. The state and private banks have expanded credit and the private corporations have gone into heavy indebtedness by getting bank loans and issuing corporate bonds. To maintain the US as the biggest consumer market, US households have been given a seemingly endless flow of credit, culminating in the housing bubble and ending in the ongoing mortgage meltdown.

The truth about the US economy is now out. The sordid facts about the con game of the lead economy of the world capitalist system are being exposed. The debts of the US federal government, the private corporations and households are unsustainable and cannot be paid back. And yet the US policy makers continue to expand the money supply and lower the interest rates. The industrial decline and the runaway federal debt of the US have undermined the long-touted role of the US as the engine of global economic growth and the global market of last resort as well as the value of the US dollar as the reserve currency of the world.

The US economy has become dependent on credit provided by certain oil producing countries and by countries supplying consumer goods. It has fallen into a prolonged state of camouflaged recession since 1999 when the high tech bubble was about to burst. Some US economists now describe the US economy as being in a state of inflationary recession and is halfway into an hyper-inflationary Weimar Republic-type of depression that has a high potential of leaping into Great Depression II. The other industrial capitalist economies are being pulled into the vortex of the global financial crisis that the US chiefly has stirred up.

The few other countries from which the US imports cheap consumer goods face decreasing orders, a credit crunch and the declining value of the US dollar. The chronically depressed underdeveloped countries in the third world find themselves in a far worse situation than before. The overwhelming majority of them have become net fuel and food importers. Their peoples are grievously victimized by the manipulated shortages and price gouging by the global and regional cartels directed by the monopoly capitalists in the US and other imperialist powers. The entire world capitalist system can be summed up as being in a state of depression, especially if we fully take into account the actual social and economic conditions of the oppressed peoples and nations.

Consequences of the global financial crisis

The gravity of the economic and financial crisis of the world capitalist system is such that we can expect the worsening and sharpening of contradictions between the imperialist countries and the oppressed peoples and nations, between the imperialist countries and certain countries that invoke national independence, among the imperialist powers themselves and between the monopoly bourgeoisie and the working class in the imperialist countries.

The crisis of the world capitalist system inflicts social devastation at its worst and suffering at its most painful on the oppressed peoples and nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is therefore understandable why we see here the most widespread spontaneous and organized actions of mass protest and the revolutionary armed struggles that seek to end imperialist domination and overthrow the puppet regimes. The main contradiction in the world is that between the imperialist powers and the oppressed peoples and nations.

The extent of existing revolutionary armed struggles is already formidable, as we observe those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Nigeria, Philippines, Turkey, India and other South Asian countries. The potential is high for the revolutionary armed struggles to arise in more countries in several continents. The crisis of the world capitalist system generates the favorable objective conditions for the further spread of people’s wars for national liberation and democracy.

Since the end of World War II, many new national states have arisen from the colonies and semi-colonies either as a result of the revolutionary movements for national liberation or as a result of neocolonial compromise. Most of them are now in the clutches of neocolonialism and neoliberalism. But there are some states which invoke bourgeois nationalism or socialism and assert national independence against the imperialists and their agents. Those states born from successful national liberation movements, such as China, North Korea and Cuba, have been the most effective in asserting national independence and preventing US aggression.

We have also seen the Yugoslavia of Milosevic and Iraq of Saddam resisting the worst of imperialist impositions and being subjected to wars of aggression launched by the US. Currently, there are other countries whose governments stand up to imperialist domination and move to nationalize imperialist enterprises. Venezuela of Hugo Chavez is a prime example. As the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens, we are going to see more dramatic events in the contradictions between the imperialist countries and the countries that assert national independence.

The imperialist powers collude with each other against the oppressed peoples and nations in general. But they compete with each other for sources of cheap raw materials, markets, fields of investment and spheres of influence. As a result of the full restoration of capitalism in former revisionist-ruled countries, imperialist countries competing with each other and seeking to redivide the world have increased in number. The world has become more cramped than ever for the competitions and rivalries of the imperialist powers.

The US is increasingly resented by other imperialist powers for presuming to have sole hegemony over the whole world and for trying to grab the lion’s share of spoils in every continent. At the same time, it is already overextended and weakening in certain parts of the world. Contradictions are developing between the US and Russia and China jointly or separately. So are those between the US and the European Union. These contradictions involve economic, financial, political, security and other issues. As the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens, the contradictions among the imperialist powers will sharpen and generate conditions favorable for the rise of revolutionary movements.

Within imperialist countries, contradictions are surfacing between the monopoly bourgeoisie and the working class. Under the auspices of neoliberalism, the wage and living conditions of the working class have deteriorated drastically. Job security for most workers has evaporated. Worker youth, women and immigrants are discriminated against, exploited and oppressed. Social benefits won over a long period of time have been gravely eroded. Trade union and other democratic rights have been undermined and curtailed.

As the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens, the monopoly bourgeoisie will try to further exploit and oppress the workers. It will pit one section of the working class against another. For the purpose, it will use chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry and fascism. But it is precisely the escalating exploitative and oppressive acts of the monopoly bourgeoisie that will drive the workers to fight back and wage revolutionary struggle. The class struggle in the imperialist countries has never been eliminated. It has only been suppressed for quite a long while. It is now resurgent.

[Prof. Jose Maria Sison is chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee of the International League of Peoples’Struggle (ILPS). The foregoing article (original title: “Implications and consequences of the global financial crisis to the people’s anti-imperialist movement”) was written as a contribution to the Forum on Global Financial Crisis, Third International Assembly, held in Hong Kong on 19 June 2008. Visit the author’s site to read more analyses on various issues.]

STATEMENT: Arroyo regime renders impossible formal talks between GRP and MILF

August 23, 2008

STATEMENT: Arroyo regime renders impossible formal talks between GRP and MILF PDF Print E-mail
Prof. Jose Maria Sison/NDFP
Thursday, 21 August 2008 23:11
var sburl8682 = window.location.href; var sbtitle8682 = document.title;var sbtitle8682=encodeURIComponent(“STATEMENT: Arroyo regime renders impossible formal talks between GRP and MILF”); var sburl8682=decodeURI(“http://www.mindanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5009”); sburl8682=sburl8682.replace(/amp;/g, “”);sburl8682=encodeURIComponent(sburl8682);Contrary to the propaganda issued by the psywar experts of the Arroyo regime, I am not in any position to issue orders to the New People’s Army (NPA) to undertake tactical offensives in sympathy with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). My role as NDFP chief political consultant is assisting peace negotiations and not issuing military orders to the NPA.

In a recent interview, I merely commented as follows: that there is a longstanding alliance between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the MILF and that the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and command of the NPA which are both based in Philippines have issued declarations (through http://www.philippinerevolution.net) that NPA tactical offensives are in the interest of the Filipino people and are also in sympathy with the Moro people and MILF who are under attack by the armed forces of the GRP.

It is the Arroyo regime that is accountable for the escalation of the armed conflict in Mindanao and in the entire Philippines. It agreed with the MILF to formally sign the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in Malaysia on August 5. But long before the Supreme Court issued the temporary restraining order, the regime all along had the malicious intent of withdrawing from the scheduled signing and had already mobilized and deployed military forces for large-scale offensives against the MILF.

The Arroyo regime’s multiple acts of betraying the MILF have rendered impossible the opening of formal talks of the GRP and MILF. By announcing that it wants to review, further negotiate and revise the MOA-AD, the Arroyo regime veritably tells the MILF to bend and break by giving up what it has gained on paper through many years of informal talks and indefinite ceasefire. The clear message of the regime to the MILF is to keep the ceasefire and never to expect the signing of the MOA-AD.

The regime is using against the MILF the same stratagem (devised by Arroyo, General Ermita and NSA Gonzales) that it is trying to use against the NDFP. The GRP negotiating panel agrees to a draft and then freezes it with demands for revision, while requiring the MILF to submit to informal talks and prolonged ceasefire or, in the case of the NDFP, while pressuring it to submit to indefinite ceasefire that lays aside the substantive agenda and amounts to capitulation and pacification.

Apparently, by pretending for a while to be for MOA-AD and then backing out, the Arroyo regime has calculated that it shall have inflamed the armed conflict in Mindanao to the point of justifying martial law and charter change in a bid to prolong itself in power. Blinded by hubris, the regime misses the fact that it is besieged by a severe economic and financial crisis, that the MILF can fight back effectively within its own territory and that it is self-defeating for the regime to fight on two war fronts, one against the MILF in Mindanao and another against the NDFP in the entire country.

The reactionary armed forces have been overstretched and fatigued by so many years of Oplan Bantay Laya. In recent months, even former GRP president Fidel V. Ramos has observed this fact. The concurrent military offensives of the the Bangsamoro Islamic Liberation Army (BILA) and the New People’s Army have the potential of breaking the backbone of the reactionary armed forces and encouraging the reasonable elements therein to support the ouster of the fake president and serious negotiations with the MILF and NDFP.

Pretense at Generosity with Full Malice by US Imperialism and the Arroyo Regime

August 21, 2008

BY PROF. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
DEMOCRATIC SPACE
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 28, August 17-23, 2008

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has consistently supported the Moro people’s right to self-determination. This ranges from the right to regional autonomy in a non-oppressive state to the right to secede from the oppressive state that exists in the Philippines. Even an individual who finds himself or herself oppressed by a state has the right to separate from it.

In a manner of speaking, the Filipino people and revolutionary forces within the framework of the NDFP and the growing revolutionary organs of political power have seceded or separated themselves from the oppressive semicolonial and semifeudal state system that is ruled by the comprador big bourgeoisie and landlord class and are striving to build the new people’s democratic state system that is based on the alliance of the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the middle social strata.

When I read the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that was supposed to be signed by representatives of the MILF and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in Malaysia on Aug. 5, 2008, I thought immediately that the contents which appeared to recognize and concretize the Bangsamoro’s right to self-determination and ancestral domain were too good and too generous to be true. The MOA was so contrary to the greedy and brutal character of the GRP, whose presumptions and actuations I have long known in the course of revolutionary struggle and the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

It was almost predictable that the signing of the MOA would be aborted. The public release of the draft only a few days before the date of signing was clearly meant to stir up a controversy big enough to cause the abortion. Had the Arroyo regime really meant to push through the MOA, it should have worked it out with the MILF and other interested parties at the latest within the first half of the year or even late last year. But the MOA was never meant to be, either to be signed or to be realized, as GRP officials would reveal.

Top subalterns of the fake and mendacious president such as Ermita, Esperon and Dureza declared that the MOA was just a piece of paper, subject to existing GRP laws, further legislation and constitutional amendment. Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J. , whom they had consulted all along, also confirmed that the MOA was nothing more than a piece of paper, despite the regime’s rather expensive much ado about it.

The patriotic and progressive forces and the people are reasonably concerned that the MOA had been devised by the untrustworthy and sneaky Arroyo as a way for pushing a charter change to allow her to stay in power beyond 2010, without really having to give substantial concessions to the MILF. But they must look further into the obnoxious joint objectives of the US government  (together with the Japanese and Australian governments) and the Arroyo regime in seeming to be for the MOA and making the MILF believe that the GRP was serious about signing this.

Under the direction of the US State Department, the US Institute of Peace has been busy in carrying out the Philippine Facilitation Project since 2003 in order to help produce something like the MOA.  It is obvious that the US has been out to sidle up to and ingratiate itself with the MILF and the Bangsamoro in order to further strengthen its position in exploiting the human and natural resources of the Bangsamoro and deploying US military forces in  Mindanao.

At this point, the question is: with the signing aborted, is the MOA still useful to the major parties directly involved in drafting or facilitating it? The MILF can continue to use the MOA as a standard or minimum basis for negotiating with the GRP. The GRP or the Arroyo regime can also use the same thing for putting off serious formal negotiations with the MILF and for hyping the need for charter change. Unilaterally or in cahoots with the GRP, the US can use the  high expectations raised by the MOA among the MILF and Bangsamoro to justify US military presence and advance US hegemony in Mindanao.

Certainly, such expectations can never be realised through the kindness of the US and the GRP and without the persevering struggle of the Moro people.The GRP and its imperialist masters are merely using the MOA as a device of pretended generosity to MILF in order to seize the propaganda initiative, to prolong GRP-MILF informal talks and ceasefire and to deploy larger  US and Philippine military forces against  the MILF and the Bangsamoro.

The pretense at generosity is full of malice. It is calculated to outwit and outflank the MILF and the Bangsamoro and to facilitate frontal military attacks against them. They are being left no choice but to wage revolutionary struggle in order to advance their cause of national self-determination. There is a heightened need for the unity, cooperation of the MILF and the NDFP in their distinct and common concerns and causes against the same adversaries. Posted by Bulatlat

Another Side of JMS: An Encounter with a Former Fellow Inmate of Prof. Joma Sison

August 13, 2008

I just had an encounter with a man that the Jose Maria Sison played scrabbled with, had lunch with and made sure Malaya and We Forum were clipped religiously while they were in prison. The encounter was short, but wonderful, and it showed me a different face of the man who represented the Philippine national democratic revolution up to this time.

BY TERENCE KRISHNA LOPEZ
Contributed to Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 27, August 10-16, 2008

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Just minutes after my arrival from an enchanting trip from the marvelous Maguindanao, passing through the otherworldly beauty of Marawi, the only Islamic City in the country with the magical lake Lanao as a backdrop and the quiet and simple Iligan City, I was still ecstatic.

I just had an encounter with a man that the Jose Maria Sison played scrabbled with, had lunch with and made sure Malaya and We Forum were clipped religiously while they were in prison at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The encounter was short, but wonderful, and it showed me a different side of the man who represented the Philippine national democratic revolution up to this time.

Soaped, horsed and forgotten newspapers

His close friends call him Papa Sammy. Let me call him Mang Sammy.

Probably a few years younger than Sison, Mang Sammy or Samuel Maolana looks to me like a perfect poster boy of the 1960s era. Hair not short, not too long but long enough to express freedom or non-conformism, shirt hugging him with a statement: spit it out. And when he spoke, although he was a little tipsy, everyone listened.

He started telling his JMS tales when prodded by another friend, over cans of beer as if it was just yesterday. It felt as if JMS was still in prison.

Jolly. That was his first adjective when I asked how was the man who at that time was translating Marx’s dialectical materialism into Filipino. Mang Sammy added that JMS laughed a lot and joked a lot especially when his wife Julie and child Jasm were around.

I tried to picture it, those words Mang Sammy was saying and it was really difficult for me. I only know JMS as the grim and determined leader of the Communist Party and author of the Philippine Society and Revolution. I was able to see that image of JMS later on in my mind but it did took me a few minutes – I mean of course, it’s not easy.

Another thing Mang Sammy told was about the scrabble games JMS and him played with Julie in which JMS coined words that weren’t usually acceptable such as soaped and horsed. Julie, according to Mang Sammy, would protest but since their rule was consensus of two, JMS always won. And when at one point, Julie quit and turned the table down because she felt she was being cheated by the two, JMS would just laugh about it and tell Mang Sammy, “Napikon yung matanda!” (We got into the nerves of the old lady!)

But Mang Sammy and JMS also had a “lover’s quarrel.” There were times when JMS wouldn’t talk to Mang Sammy, wouldn’t join him in meals and would smoke alone. But that too, was funny.

Mang Sammy actually was transferred from another cell to be JMS’s companion and when they became close in-mates, JMS requested Mang Sammy to do the news clippings from We Forum and Malaya, two of the more respected papers during those times. They also agreed that other papers be sold in exchange for cigarettes. One time, their prison guard accidentally included the two papers among those to be sold.

It was Julie who revealed to the clueless Mang Sammy that there were only three things that mattered to JMS at that time, other than his family and among these were the newspaper clippings.

Of course, eventually, the two in-mates went back to being friends again after sometime.

Unfortunately, as in every encounter, ours had to end. Mang Sammy and his equally interesting friends had to leave as the night started to get real deep.

And I had to prepare myself for a road trip the morning after. A road trip amid tens and tens of unchecked check points, Muslim women walking down the streets in full Muslim garb that reminded me of the Afghan women in the movie Osama, three-hour trip with strangers who speak a completely different language along narrow highways, majestic mountains and the magical lake Lanao.

Definitely though, my encounter with Mang Sammy who is now a development worker in Maguindanao is the one thing that made this trip spectacular. Not only because he took me a bit closer to the one man every young activist dreams of meeting but also because he made me believe, in a manner and flair all of his own, that age in a society that needs change, doesn’t matter, when we struggle.

And yes, Mang Sammy is separately, another interesting story to write. Contributed to Bulatlat

Communist leader lauds freedom fighter Tañada

August 10, 2008

By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:35:00 08/10/2008

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES founder Jose Ma. Sison paid tribute Saturday to Lorenzo Tañada, saying the late senator’s fight for independence and democracy remained even more relevant today.

The country marks today the 110th birth anniversary of Tañada.

Sison, in self-exile in the Netherlands, said he had worked with Tañada in the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism (MAN) and saw up close the late senator’s high intellect and conviction.

He said Tañada’s “resolute and militant struggle” against the Marcos dictatorship in the 1970s “encouraged and strengthened” him while he was living underground and while he was in detention at a military camp.

“Despite his advanced age, [Tañada] engaged in street activism and braved the bullying and assaults of the armed personnel of the state,” Sison said in a statement.

Sison said it was urgent for the Filipinos to celebrate and seek guidance from Tañada’s legacy.

“We need to refresh and revitalize ourselves with the principles that he enunciated so lucidly and so vigorously and with the actions that he undertook and which made him an exemplary fighter for the national and democratic rights and interests of the people,” he said.

Sison said that Tañada’s legacy remained relevant to the Filipinos’ struggle for complete national independence, democracy, good governance, social justice, development and durable peace.

“We are confronted by a government that is shamelessly servile to US imperialism, extremely corrupt and exploitative, and unrestrained in repressing the people and committing human rights violations,” he said.

He said Tañada exhibited a high standard of morality and fought for the Filipinos’ “economic sovereignty,” and the conservation of the national patrimony.

“We are required by his teachings and example to fight relentlessly against the US-imposed policy of free market globalization,” he said.

Sison said the late senator devoted himself to the struggle to dismantle the US military bases in the Philippines, and was pleased when the 1987 Constitution prohibited the basing of foreign military forces and, in 1991, when the Senate terminated the US-Philippines military bases agreement.

But the post-Aquino regimes sought to circumvent these, Sison said.

“The Arroyo regime has been the worst in treasonously increasing the pretexts for US military intervention and for actually allowing the continuous and increasing presence of US military forces in the Philippines,” he said.

The Lies of Arroyo Add Insult to Injury but the People are Fighting Back

July 27, 2008

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
DEMOCRATIC SPACE
Posted by Bulatlat
Volume VIII, Number 25, July 27 – August 2, 2008

The fake president Gloria M. Arroyo has such a long record of lying that no one expects her to describe the real state of the nation and indicate the solutions to the problems that have grown terribly worse under her regime. She is ever more determined to lie in a vain attempt to evade responsibility for the extremely aggravated suffering of the Filipino people. But reality cries far louder and clearer than her lies. These add insult to injury. And the outraged people become ever more resolute and relentless in their struggle.

Arroyo is poised to claim that she has nothing to do with the crisis of the domestic ruling system and that this is simply the result of external factors that would soon blow away. She is likely to repeat her lie that the economy continues to grow and that she has already laid the basis for the Philippines to become a “first world country” in the next twenty years, even as she has not undertaken any program of national industrialization and land reform. Only the most corrupt puppet of foreign monopoly capitalism can utter such complete nonsense as that the industrial development of a semifeudal agrarian economy can be achieved through wanton consumption chiefly by the local exploiting classes and through unbridled foreign borrowing and superprofit-taking by the foreign monopolies.

The Arroyo regime has subserviently followed the US-instigated neoliberal policy of monopoly capitalism or imperialism masquerading as “free market” globalization. It has kept the agrarian and pre-industrial character of the Philippine economy and has remained dependent on the export of women and men, raw materials and semi-manufactures. To cover the trade and fiscal deficits and be able to claim that the economy is ever growing, it has gone into unprecedented foreign borrowing and it has raised the tax burden on ordinary people in a bankrupt and depressed economy.

Amidst the economic and financial crisis of the US and world capitalist system, which is generating inflation and stagnation, the Arroyo regime is confronted by an international credit crunch and a drastic fall in demand for the primary and low value-added exports of the Philippines.

Buffeted by the bursting of the financial bubble in high tech stocks and then in housing in less than a decade, the US and other foreign monopoly capitalists have focused on fabricating shortages and manipulating prices in the fuel and food sectors of the global economy in order to continue raking in superprofits.

Captivated by the US-dictated neoliberal economic policy and driven by the greed of big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists, the Arroyo regime cannot offer any kind of solution or alleviation to the aggravation of poverty and the spread of hunger. The rate of unemployment is rapidly increasing. The incomes of the working people are plummeting. The prices of fuel, food and other basic commodities are soaring. The basic social services are deteriorating and yet the fees charged are ever rising.

The broad masses of the people are outraged that despite being an agrarian country, the Philippines cannot produce enough food for itself and has become the world’s No. 1 rice importer. Trade liberalization has not only prevented industrial development through the dumping of surplus manufactures but has also seriously damaged Philippine agriculture through the dumping of agricultural surpluses from abroad. Land reform and agricultural development have not been carried out. Extensive tracts of land have been taken away from agriculture and used for nonagricultural purposes and real estate speculation.

Arroyo is poised to repeat for the nth time the lie that the reactionary armed forces and police can either destroy the armed revolutionary movement or reduce it to irrelevance by 2010. She will claim again with the same or some other mocking words that it is “ideological nonsense” that fuels the armed revolution rather than the ever escalating oppression and exploitation inflicted on the people by her regime and by her imperialist and local reactionary masters. She obscures the fact that it makes excellent political sense for the people and revolutionary forces to wage an armed revolution for national liberation and democracy against the chronically crisis-ridden semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.

The Arroyo regime has rabidly followed US military dictates, especially the US global policy of terror. It has done so to serve its own narrow interests. It has calculated that it can draw certain political and material advantages. Thus, it has allowed US military forces to enter and stay in the Philippines and bring in weapons of mass destruction under various pretexts in violation of Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity and in violation of the 1987 constitution which prohibits the basing of foreign military forces and their weapons in the Philippines.

Under the US global policy of terror, the Arroyo regime has supported the US-instigated wars of aggression, acts of military intervention and campaigns to enact fascist laws and unleash state terrorism. It has used its servility to the US under the pretext of anti-terrorism in order to keep the loyalty of the military and police chain of command against the growing number of opponents within the armed services and to embolden her armed minions in perpetrating gross and systematic violation of human rights against the unarmed patriotic and progressive legal activists, the people in the guerrilla fronts, the broad range of opposition forces and the broad masses of the people.

The Filipino people are fighting back against the ever worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation. They are undertaking all forms of struggle, including the legal protest movement and the armed revolutionary movement. Whether or not the legal protest movement can still cause the ouster of the Arroyo regime before 2010, it has the growing determination and strength to prevent the Arroyo clique from manipulating other reactionary forces and deciding the results of the 2010 presidential elections to its advantage. The limitations of the legal democratic movement underscore the high importance of the armed revolutionary movement.

Arroyo herself and her top civilian and military officials have been the best campaigners for the necessity of the people’s war for national liberation and democracy. They have brazenly escalated the oppression and exploitation of the people and boasted that they can invoke the law and use armed force of the so-called strong republic (an actually enfeebled puppet republic) in trying to destroy any opposition. They have flagrantly flaunted military force as the way to destroy or weaken the armed revolution.

The Arroyo regime has never considered the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as a serious and significant way to address the roots of the civil war through social, economic and political reforms. It has always regarded peace negotiations as a minor tactic for confusing the people and pushing the revolution towards capitulation and pacification.

It has also exposed its malice and deviousness by engaging in prolonged ceasefire and mere exploratory talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and ultimately refusing to formalize the points of agreement already reached. And now it is rapidly increasing military forces in Mindanao for the escalation of civil war, with an increasing element of US military intervention and aggression. But the revolutionary armed forces are fighting back and seizing the initiative in political and military terms.

According to the reports in the revolutionary and non-revolutionary mass media, the frequency and scale of tactical offensives and other actions of the armed revolutionary movement have increased. The forces of the New People’s Army (NPA) under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) are seizing more arms from enemy military and police forces as well as from their paramilitary and private security adjuncts. They are doing so in order to raise the number of guerrilla fronts from 130 to 173 and thus cover all the congressional districts in the provinces. They are also aiming to prepare the building of relatively stable base areas on the basis of the guerrilla fronts.

They are conducting operations to dismantle or drive away the enterprises in mining, logging for export, plantations, golf courses, other upscale forms of recreation and other businesses that grab land and natural resources. They do so in order to protect the natural environment, pave the way for genuine land reform and future development and frustrate the policy of giving away natural resources in exchange for the onerous foreign loans. According to its leaders, the people’s democratic government can rely on the voluntary contributions of the people and taxes from the socially necessary and permissible private
enterprises.

As published documents of the CPP, NPA and NDFP explain, NPA units base themselves on warrants from the people’s court in their efforts to arrest for trial in the people’s court the perpetrators of human rights violations, economic plunder and various forms of grave anti-social crimes. At the same time, they are authorized by revolutionary law and the appropriate standing orders to give battle only to well-defined combatants and criminal suspects who are armed and dangerous. The NPA adheres to its own Unilateral Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions and Protocol and the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

Within their social and legal systems, the imperialists and the local reactionaries commit all kinds of serious crimes against the people with impunity. Until now no justice has been rendered by the reactionary state or by any agency of the United Nations to the victims of human rights violations in the Philippines. Even the indemnification for victims of human rights violations under the Marcos fascist regime has been stolen by the Arroyo regime and diverted for electioneering in 2004. But the people can fight back effectively by adopting revolutionary ideas and programs of action, forming various types of mass organization and carrying out mass mobilizations to struggle against their adversaries and achieve social benefits.

While the Arroyo regime is merely an episode in the life of the rotten ruling system, the revolutionary mass movement of the Filipino people for national liberation and democracy is determined to persevere until it achieves complete victory. At any rate, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is ever ready to avail of any opportunity at peace negotiations after the Arroyo regime is replaced by a government that shows serious interest in a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the civil war through basic social, economic and political reforms. Posted by Bulatlat

For Violating Rights of Sison, Filipino Refugees: Dutch Gov’t Hit Before UN Human Rights Council

June 19, 2008

The Dutch government was criticized by an international group of lawyers before the United Nations Human Rights Council for violating the rights of Prof. Jose Maria Sison and of members of the negotiating panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

BY RONALYN V. OLEA
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 19, June 15-21, 2008

Filipino lawyer Edre Olalia, representing the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and president of the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) decried the Dutch government’s violation of human rights of Filipinos living in the Netherlands during the 8th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, June 11.

Olalia made the intervention in the course of the consideration of the report of the Working Group on the human rights record of The Netherlands.  The IADL is an NGO composed of lawyer and jurist members and associations in over 80 countries. It has consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the UN Human Rights Council.

In a statement sent through email by Defend International, Olalia criticized the disparity between the pious pronouncements of the Dutch government about human rights and the continuing political persecution of Filipino political exiles, asylum seekers and refugees like Filipinos in the Netherlands who are in “legitimate and democratic opposition to what they view as anti-people policies and programs of the Philippine government.”

Collaboration with RP Gov’t

Olalia pointed out that the Dutch government and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) had collaborated in using false criminal charges against Prof. Jose Maria Sison, NDFP chief political consultant, as a pretext to arrest and detain him, raid the NDFP information office and the homes of the peace panelists, consultants and staffers of the NDFP and seize their computers, digital files, documents, bank accounts and many other things on 28 August 2007.

Olalia said, “How could arbitrary and indiscriminate carting away of an immense amount of materials, including the records and related study materials of peace negotiations since 1986 as well as complaints, evidence and files of the Joint Monitoring Committee, a body designed to monitor compliance with a bilateral agreement on human rights and international humanitarian law be justified?”

He asserted that the NDFP is a national liberation movement, whose status is recognized under international law, and which has maintained an open international information office in the Netherlands for a long period of time, and is engaged in peace negotiations with the GRP.

Olalia stressed that persecution through false charges is a major form of human rights violation. “The falsely accused is subjected to detention, humiliation, stigmatization, unnecessary expense of efforts and resources, loss of income and opportunities and public incitement of violence against his person and reputation.”

He pointed out that the Dutch government gave credence to false information provided by the Philippine government, particularly from a body called the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG), which the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Prof. Philip Alston recommended to be abolished.

He said, “In this regard, how can the Dutch government guarantee that in the sphere of criminal investigation, prosecution and judicial decision-making, political interests are subservient to the supposed rule of law in the Netherlands so that the human rights of individuals who exercise their basic freedom of thought and expression are promoted and protected?”

Meanwhile, Sison, speaking via the internet before the All Leaders Forum organized by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), June 12, said, “Tingnan n’yo ang kawalanghiyaan ng GRP, niloko ang Dutch government sa pagsasampa ng false charges. Kasama ang Kintanar at Tabara incidents sa rebellion charges na ibinasura na ng Korte Supreme noong July 2, 2007.” (Look at the shamelessness of the GRP; it fooled the Dutch government in filing false charges. The Kintanar and Tabara incidents formed part of the rebellion charges that were already dismissed by the Philippine Supreme Court last July 2, 2007.)

Sison was charged in The Netherlands for ordering the murder of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara. He was arrested August 28, 2007 but was released September 13 after the Dutch court found that there were no “sufficient indications that the accused [Sison], while living in the Netherlands, committed the offenses he is charged with, in deliberate and close cooperation with the perpetrators in the Philippines.”.

Olalia said that the oppressive policy of the Dutch government towards Prof. Sison did not cease despite the series of decisions of the Hague District Court on 13 September 2007, The Hague Court of Appeal on 2 October 2007, and the examining judge on 21 November 2007 that there is no prima facie evidence against him. The latest decision of the Hague District Court on 5 June 2008 declares that up to now there is no incriminating evidence against him.

In the same forum, Sison described the cruelty of  “Dutch imperialism.” “Sa kasaysayan, pumatay sila ng tatlong milyong Indonesians for oil interests. May pamukha lang na kumikilala ng karapatang pantao.” (History shows that Dutch imperialists killed three million Indonesians for its oil interests. It only wants to portray itself as a defender of human rights.)

Peace talks

Olalia averred that peace advocates are concerned that the false criminal charges have paralyzed the peace negotiations. He demanded that the Dutch government show respect for human rights by doing away with persecution through false or politically-motivated charges in order to strengthen the rule of law and promote the implementation of agreements between the GRP and the NDFP, such as the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). He called for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in order to pave the way for the end of the armed conflict in the Philippines and lay the ground for human rights to thrive.

For his part, Sison deemed that the political persecution against the NDF aims to pressure the NDF to capitulate. “Gustong ipanalo (ng rehimeng Arroyo) ang hindi niya kayang ipanalo sa battlefield.”  (The Arroyo regime wishes to gain what it cannot win in the battlefield.)

He said that the prospect of peace negotiations remains dim. “Anuman ang kagustuhan ng NDF, di kayang alisin ng GRP ang mga obstacles to the peace negotiations. Gusto nilang talikdan ang Hague Joint Declaration at iba pang agreements. Dinambong na ang pondo para sa indemnification ng mga biktima ng martial law. GRP ang nag-request sa Dutch government para isama kami sa terrorist list at iba pa.” (No matter how willing the NDF is, the GRP refused to remove the obstacles to the peace negotiations. They do not want to comply with the Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements. The fund for the indemnification of martial law victims has been plundered. The GRP requested the Dutch government to include us [Sison, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army] in the terrorist list and so on.)

Dutch Reply

In another statement sent to Bulatlat, the UPR Watch related, “The head of the Netherlands delegation, Dutch Ambassador for Human Rights from the Foreign Ministry Mr. Arjan Hamburger – who was obviously caught by surprise by a Filipino making an oral intervention on the Netherlands human rights report and situation – was unprepared to answer and meekly replied that they will respond to the issues raised by the NGOs in an interim overview of their UPR report or through bilateral contact with the organizations that spoke.”

Olalia challenged the UN Human Rights Council to react or respond to reports that Dutch and Philippine government authorities at the highest level have a long-running scheme to “oppress and criminalize” Prof. Sison by subjecting him to such false charges and to an endless politically-motivated criminal investigation by the Dutch State.

He demanded that satisfactory answers be made to the questions he raised. He said, “Without satisfactory answers, we are afraid that other individuals and organizations in the Netherlands will suffer the same fate in contravention of the basic international instruments to which the Netherlands has committed itself.” Bulatlat

RP Economic, Political Situation Combustible – Sison

June 19, 2008

Prof. Jose Maria Sison, political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), described the Philippine economic and political situation as combustible, citing the fuel and food crises as bases.

BY RONALYN OLEA
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 19, June 15-21, 2008

Prof. Jose Maria Sison, political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), described the Philippine economic and political situation as combustible, citing the fuel and food crises as bases.

In a forum organized by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), June 12, Sison, speaking via internet, said that the fundamental rottenness of the Philippine economy is aggravated by the fuel and food crises. “Bunga ito lahat ng neoliberal globalization.” (Neoliberal globalization is the cause of all these.)

He blamed the manipulation by transnational corporations of the so-called shortage to raise the pump prices of petroleum products. “Pinalilitaw na magkakaroon ng shortage.Monopoly bourgeoisie ang nakikinabang.” (They make it appear that there would be a shortage. The monopoly bourgeoisie benefits from this.) Monopoly bourgeoisie refers to a handful of big capitalists who earn super profits through monopoly control of industries.

Sison said that the food crisis in the Philippines is characterized by the insufficiency in domestic rice production and run-away increases in rice prices. “Ang gobyernong Pilipino kasi, istupido dahil hinayaan ang dumping of food imports. Naging biggest net  importer of rice and food na  tayo.” (The Philippine government is stupid for allowing the dumping of food products. We have become the biggest net importer of rice and food.)

He said, however, that there is no shortage of food in the world at large. “Ang mayroon, food cartel na involved sa manipulation ng presyo.” (There is a food cartel involved in manipulation of prices.)

Sison explained that the Philippine economy was buoyed up for a while by foreign loans.
Pinag-iitsurang lumalaki, napapalitaw na may growth. Nangungutang para pagtakpan ang trade deficit, budget deficit.” (They made it appear that the economy is growing. But actually the government contract loans to cover up the trade and budget deficits.)

He said that except for the export of human resources, especially Filipino women, the Philippines has no source of solid income. The foreign exchange income, he said, is exploited by capitalists, too.

According to Sison, the situation is favorable for ousting the Arroyo regime. “Ang masa, handang kumilos. Nasa competence na lang ng ating mga organizers.” (The masses are willing to join the struggle. It is up to the competence of our organizers to tap this.)

He encouraged the broad spectrum of the Filipino people to unite and be militant in the assertion of rights. He warned that Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may choose the next president to protect her loot and to cover up her crimes against the people.

Still optimistic, Sison said, “Kung may 100, 000 o milyon-milyon sa kalsada, tiyak bagsak ang halimaw na ‘yan.” (If there will be 100,000 or millions protesting in the streets, the downfall of that monster is inevitable.) Bulatlat

Assassination by Hired Killers Failed Twice

June 3, 2008

The Philippine government tried to get rid of Communist leader Jose Maria Sison in Utrecht. The Philippine government sent hired killers to The Netherlands to kill the Communist Sison. Details are coming out now

BY FOLKERT JENSMA
NRC.NEXT
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 17, June 1-7,2008

The Hague.  They stayed in the Amsterdam budget tourist hotel Tourist Inn at the Spui [downtown Amsterdam], the members of the Filipino ‘hit team’ which came to The Netherlands in October 1999 in order to perpetrate a political murder. Their target was Jose Maria Sison, the rather elder Filipino Communist leader who has resided in Utrecht as an exile since 1987. Two men, with several thousand dollars cash and travelers  checks. They had landed in Frankfurt and travelled by train to Amsterdam.  There they bought two prepaid mobile cards and rented a car at Avis.

But the assassination of Sison was not committed. A second attempt with a second team, a few months later, also failed. The aspirant-killers first had difficulty in finding Sison. When they had found out his home, office and routes, they almost came into action twice. One time against the wrong person.  another time they got afraid and withdrew because Sison was walking, holding a child. Their rented car was also broken into – luggage gone. They gave a notification of this to the local police because of the insurance.

The killing was supposed be carried out with a knife and an axe. But it took so long  The teams lost courage, felt literally cold in The Netherlands and they got worried about home. They also found that they were conspicuous. The Utrecht people walked around in the cool spring weather just in T-shirts. They had thick jackets. And they had to hide therein the axe. Why did Manila anyway want that it had to be done with a knife? A real gun, that’s what they wanted!

The details come from the interrogation conducted by the Nationale Recherche [National Criminal Investigation] in the end of February 2008 at the American army base, Clark, in the Philippines with Jose Ramos (53). This person stayed for weeks over seven years ago in The Netherlands with the objective to kill Sison. He dropped out because he heard that back home he had been put on record as “deserted” [AWOL “away without leave”]. That made him afraid. He feared that the secret service would kill him after the assassination.

Sison himself had in the meantime found out about everything. His sources in Manila had informed him by letter. And he gave a detailed notification to the Utrecht police. This latter warned the AIVD [General Intelligence and Security Service], and after this everything remained still. No one was arrested. “Too few reference points,” says the Public Prosecutor’s Office later.

Until last week. Then the current lawyer of Sison, Michiel Pestman, came back from vacation. He found six new folders with testimonies on his desk. It looked like “the nth installment” in the procedure of the Public Prosecutor’s Office to get Sison in jail for a double murder in the Philippines. For against Sison there are the necessary complaints (see sidebar). But in the dossier there was a little gift: the curious declaration of Ramos – who appeared to incriminate himself, and so delivered the first proof that the attack [assassination attempt] earlier was real.

Ramos had kept the hotel bill and gave this willingly to the Nationale Recherche. The witness Ramos had contact with the [Philippine] secret service, from whom he received money and travel papers. And thus there was a connection with the Philippine government. Even a failed attempt at political assassination, according to Pestman, is a violation of the Dutch sovereignty by a foreign power.  Since when does a friendly country send death squads, to Utrecht, by the way?

The new information is for him also a chance to give a new turn to the Sison case. This Ramos and his travel companions must be extradited to The Netherlands. Or at least, in his estimation, they should be prosecuted in the Philippines. The Public Prosecutor’s Office says that the assassination was not carried out and thus it is not criminally punishable. But Pestman rejects the juridical argument of ‘voluntary withdrawal” [“vrijwillige terugtred”].  A ‘defective attempt’ remains criminally punishable if it is a grave crime which is committed ‘in association’. That was the case here. He now demands criminal prosecution.

In the dossier there was still something crazy. In one of the murders of which Sison is suspect, the police have discovered another suspect. A certain Edwin Garcia, also with connections to the secret service, who was supposed to also be in Utrecht. This man is supposed to have been recognized at the assassination of a renegade member of the party of Sison, a certain Kintanar. This person had gone over to the government side and appears to have organized the attack in Utrecht.

In that way, the ‘James Bond film’ was complete. The killing of Kintanar in the Philippines  could have been organized in order to put the blame on Sison. Sison is supposed to then have a double motive. Revenge against a traitor from one’s own circle who also tried to kill him in Utrecht.

Did Sison really do it or was he caught? There is no concrete proof for this. Only indications. Pestman points to official Philippine requests to The Hague to have Sison prosecuted. The suspicion against Garcia precisely takes the burden off his client. Just like the attack [assassination attempt] in Utrecht, it proves that the Philippine state wants to go very far to put Sison out of the way. However, the Public Prosecutor’s Office sees no connection between the cases.

Pestman calls the whole case a “stinking game” [“onwelriekend spel”]. Pestman is still making complaints against all the steps that the Public Prosecutor’s Office takes against Sison. Up to now, he is declared correct by the judges.  Against Sison there were insufficient serious complaints to seriously consider him a suspect. Pestman thinks that the case of the state is so weak that he would consider an interim dismissal disappointing. He prefers most a complete acquittal.

On June 10 the judge will issue a ruling on his complaint against the ‘notice of further prosecution’. Depending on that, the spokesman of the national office of the prosecutor says, “we are again evaluating the case”.

Sison on the EU-terror list

Jose Maria Sison causes a headache to the US and the Philippines already for decades. Since last year, the national office [of the Public Prosecutor] in Rotterdam tried to get Sison behind bars for the killing of two renegade members of his party in the Philippines.

The national office acknowledges that Sison was not in the Philippines during the time of the killings and that he has not spoken with the actual perpetrators. But because of his leading political role, it finds Sison to be a ‘functional perpetrator’ [‘functioneel dader’].

The Nationale Recherche, with American and Philippine support, carried out extensive investigation in the Philippines. Sison is since 2002 on the US and EU terror list. His bank account was blocked.

The EU Court of First Instance, part of the European Court of Justice, decided in 2007, that the listing on the terror list is unjust. The Council of Ministers however keeps him [on the list]. Sison was refused asylum in The Netherlands, but is tolerated because he cannot be expelled. Posted by Bulatlat

* This article is an unofficial translation sent to Bulatlat of an article that was published in a Dutch news magazine NRC.NEXT May 30, 2008.

Communist leader Sison asks Dutch court to drop case

May 21, 2008

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands — Philippine communist leader Jose Maria Sison on Tuesday asked the Dutch court to drop the case against him for his alleged involvement in the killing of his former comrades Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara.

After the hearing, the court, according to Sison’s lawyer Michiel Pestman, said it will issue a ruling on or before June 10.

Pestman said the prosecution, on the other hand, asked for an extension of the investigation period.

“The request for extension is necessary because they have not got anything, otherwise, they would have indicted him already,” he said. “This is a desperate attempt to save the case.”

Pestman said the court decision on or before June 10 may indict Sison or drop the case.

But Sison’s lawyer is optimistic about the case going their way because the prosecution submitted a new set of evidence that were “more of the same,” like the structure of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

“There is no evidence whatsoever linking Sison to the killings,” he said.

“They admitted that there would be no smoking gun [against Sison] and they would have to construct a case with circumstantial evidence,” he added.

Pestman said that under ordinary circumstances, Sison’s case should have been dropped “a long time ago…There are higher forces at work because obviously this is not an ordinary case. There’s a lot of political pressure involved.”

Dutch investigators went to the Philippines in February and interviewed some witnesses, he said, but even then, they “did not find any witness” to prove their case (PDI)