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August 28, 2007

Comments

ShineThePath

Hopefully I will see a lot of you there. Let our Unity carry the day tomorrow.

Thano Paris

As someone who has differences with the way in which the NPA dealt with Kintanar I want to say that this is an outrage, and tremendous travesty of justice. People should know that in the past the US intelligence agents were caught on Dutch TV trying to recruit then NDF member Nathan Quimpo. If you look at the video they specifically try to push Quimpo on the issue of differences between Sison, Kintanar, and others.

I believe that they were likely interested in doing whatever they could to do to stoke the fires of the RA-RJ debates and other differences. Now once violence breaks out they want to criminalize Sison and others etc.

JB

Jose Maria Sison is one of the major revolutionary communist leaders in the world. He was a founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and now serves in exile as a political consultant to the National Democratic movement that is seen as the civil component of the communist movement there.

That they are attempting to equate a civil war with criminality, and political involvement with military affairs is ridiculous.

You only have to note that Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is now treated as the political leader he of course is. Not a "criminal" or a "terrorist".

The US is deeply engaged in counter-insurgency efforts in the Philippines. While the left had severe problems with internacine warfare in the 1980s, that has largely cooled out. There are sporadic flare-ups – but these have involved essentially military issues, involving former leaders of the New People's Army that switched sides. Treason is never well regarded, by anyone.

The arrest of Sison will be a black mark against the right-wing government of the Netherlands, who are here betraying literally centuries of tradition as a refuge for political and religious exiles.

It was there that the world's first bourgeois republic was established in the 16th Century, where intellectuals and clerics had some room to breath while religious wars wracked Europe – and this is what they've come to.

independentmaoist

Thanks for posting this article so quickly, B'Man. This will undoubtedly be the beginning of a ferocious, and if necessary prolonged, international campaign to free Joma.

In addition to the underhanded arrest of Sison (when he was called into a police station on another matter), the Dutch intelligence agencies are on a big fishing expedition for the US and Philippine governments. They scooped up all of Sison's coputers and files, and raided the homes of 8-9 other NDFP staff members, confiscating their computers and records as well.

Why now? The US_Arroyo government has been on the political defensive for the last year or so due to the continuing political killings and abductions of political activists (over 1000 during Arroyo's tenure). Human Rights Watch and a UN Special Rapporteur have issued critical reports. A group of US Senators are even beginning to make some noise about human rights abuses in the Philippines.

A few things need to be said on the subject of the killings of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in 2003 (for which Sison is being charged). In the early 90s, a noxious mixture of revisionists raised their heads and split from the CPP, including Kintanar and Tabara. Both of them were high ranking leaders; Kintanar had led the NPA at one point.

What distinguishes them from other former CPP leaders and members--who have been the target of political polemics--is that they went to work for the Philippine military's intelligence services. As the NPA explained at the time, Kinanar and Tabara"s work for the enemy had resulted in the loss of many fine comrades. Thus, the NPA decided with good reason to arrest them to face revolutionary justice; when they resisted, they were shot. It should not come as a shock that a serious revolutionary movement takes such measures.

Four years after these events, the Dutch government (with you know who operating in the shadows) claims that Sison gave the order from 10,000 miles away to execute Kintanar and Tabara. This is only worthy of ridicule. For years, Sison and the NDF have said again and again that the leadership of the CPP and the NPA are in the Philippines. So if you want to bring charges against them, GMA, Bush and their Dutch counterpart, you know where to find them.

Death to All

Kintanar was working for the US-Arroyo regime?

Well, I guess he should have learned from Bukharin that becoming an enemy agent has its consequences, eh?

independentmaoist

A correction on my post: While Kintanar actively worked for Philippine military intelligence, Tabara was ordered to stand trial before a people's court for serious charges including the murder of an elderly peasant leader. When he resisted arrest, Tabara was shot and killed.

Alex

...together with his son-in-law

CPP statement

repost off of Indymedia from the Communist Party of the Philippines

The CPP likewise condemns the Gestapo-style raid, the brusque ransacking of the Sison residence, the NDFP International Information Office in Utrecht, The Netherlands as well as the homes of other NDFP officials and staff in Utrecht and Abcoude, and the illegal seizure of computers, peace process documents and personal effects.

The raiding forces did not show any search warrant, broke down doors and forced their way into the homes of NDFP peace panel officers and workers. In some cases, they showed complete disregard of the welfare of children who were in the homes.

The CPP and the revolutionary forces in the Philippines hold the US-Arroyo regime and the Dutch government responsible for this fascist attack against Comrade Sison and other NDFP officials and workers in The Netherlands. The CPP and the revolutionary forces in the Philippines will make these governments fully accountable for any harm and dirty act that may befall Comrade Sison while under Dutch custody, including possible extraordinary rendition to the United States or any other country.

By trumping-up new charges against Comrade Sison, the US-Arroyo regime wishes to overturn his recent legal and political victories against the regime's acts of harassment. Recently, the Supreme Court has dismissed a series of false, malicious and politically-motivated cases filed against him and several others. Last month, the European Union's Court of the First Instance (ECFI) had criticized and annulled the European Commission's inclusion of Comrade Sison its "terrorist list," and ruled that his rights and safeguards as well as proper procedures were violated.

Arresting Comrade Sison signals the intensification of all sorts of legal manipulations, judicial proceedings and dirty tricks against the NDFP personnel to compel the NDFP to bow to the demands of the US-Arroyo regime. For a long time, Arroyo has long wanted to compel the NDFP to declare a premature and prolonged ceasefire, even without addressing the fundamental questions at the root of the armed conflict and in spite of numerous key prejudicial questions that have stalled the peace process.

The Arroyo regime wishes that the revolutionary forces to lay down their arms to allow the Armed Forces of the Philippines to carry out more attacks and various acts of violence and suppression against the revolutionary and progressive forces and the entire people.

The charges being levelled against Comrade Sison are preposterous and will not stand in any fair court of justice. Comrade Sison is falsely and maliciously being made to appear responsible for the acts carried out by the New People's Army (NPA) under the authority and expressed direction of the Philippine-based leadership of the CPP, people's army and people's revolutionary government.

Gloria Arroyo is utterly deceitful in claiming that Comrade Sison's arrest is "a boost to peace." In fact, it has been Comrade Sison who has been vigorously pushing for principled ways to revive the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the NDFP. In having him arrested, the Dutch government and US-Arroyo regime have succeeded only in negating the efforts of one of the prime movers of the peace process. Comrade Sison's arrest and the political harassment against NDFP negotiators are only further leading to the termination of the GRP-NDFP peace process.

Arroyo shows that she is not at all interested in the peace process. Not only has her regime failed to comply with previous agreements and obligations, her security forces have been carrying out attacks against NDFP consultants and personnel involved in peace negotiations. In complete disregard of the standing agreements as well as international conventions and protocols on civil, political and social rights and civilized warfare, Arroyo's security and military forces in the Philippines have recently carried out the successive abductions of Philippine-based NDFP consultants Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid, Rogelio Calubad, Cesar Batralo and their staff members. Comrade Sison is only the latest of the victims of the Arroyo regime's fascsist attacks with the aim of completely scuttling the peace process.

The US government, Gloria Arroyo and her security, military and police officials are all gloating over the arrest and detention of Comrade Sison. They mistakenly believe that his arrest will weaken the resolve of the revolutionary forces. They are completely wrong in thinking that by incarcerating Comrade Sison they will put a stop to the rapid growth of the revolutionary forces in the Philippines.

In having Comrade Sison arrested, the US-Arroyo regime has succeeded only in further fueling the revolutionary movement and the Filipino people's anger against her brutal regime. Such brutal acts against the critics of the US-Arroyo regime only steel the people's determination to wage resistance in all fronts.

The Communist Party of the Philippines calls on all freedom-loving and patriotic Filipinos, the Filipino community and friends in The Netherlands and other countries, the international progressive, anti-imperialist and civil rights movement and other anti-imperialist and democratic forces and people around the world to act now and help safeguard the rights and life of Comrade Jose Maria Sison.

We express complete support and solidarity to the protest actions in the Philippines, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, the US, Australia, Belgium and other countries. We anticipate protest actions to intensify in the coming days in order to denounce the arrest, demand the Dutch government to immediately release Comrade Sison and stop the US, Philippine and Dutch governments from subjecting him to further fascist attacts and harassment.

At the same time, all units of the New People's Army (NPA) are tasked to continue carrying out tactical offensives nationwide in order to intensify the people's war to a new and higher level and contribute to the concerted effort of the Filipino people to put an end to the puppet, rotten and ruthless Arroyo regime.

update

The Dutch embassy in Manilla has been closed for a week following unrest over the arrest of Philippine communist leader José Maria Sison in Utrecht earlier this week.

News agency AP reports that the Dutch foreign affairs ministry has told tourists to avoid the country.

Left-wing Filipinos have held demonstrations outside the embassy, saying the arrest is a plot to silence the opposition. Some 200 protesters were arrested on Wednesday.

RCP statement

On August 28, Philippine revolutionary Jose Maria Sison was arrested in The Netherlands for supposed “criminal” activities that took place in the Philippines while he was in exile in The Netherlands.

At the same time, Dutch police raided, kicked down doors, searched without warrants, and ransacked houses of other Philippines living in The Netherlands, as well as the International Information Office of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

As news of Sison’s arrest spread, protests were called immediately in the Philippines, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, the United States, Australia, Belgium and other countries.

“Criminal” Charges on the Heels of a European Court Ruling Against Branding Sison a “Terrorist”

Jose Maria Sison was the chair at the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). He was imprisoned and tortured under the Marcos regime during the ’70s and ’80s. After being released from prison but then hounded by the government of the Philippines, Sison has lived in the Netherlands for nearly two decades. He is currently the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

In 1969, a revolutionary people’s war was launched in the Philippines under the leadership of the CPP. This struggle has involved hundreds of thousands of people at different times. The New People’s Army (NPA) is the revolutionary armed force fighting that war. The (NDFP) describes itself as “the revolutionary united front organization of the Philippine people fighting for national independence and for the democratic rights of the people.”

Sison's supporters have called the criminal charges trumped-up. A statement, “Free Jose Maria Sison,” from the International Committee Defend said that “The arrest of Professor Sison came after the Philippine Supreme Court dismissed several politically-motivated cases filed against him and several others. The case filed against him by the Dutch police [is] similarly politically motivated.” The statement added that “The Philippines, Dutch and U.S. are using judicial proceedings to put political pressure on the NDFP to surrender to the Manila government.”

U.S.-puppet regimes in the Philippines have hounded, persecuted, and tortured Jose Maria Sison for decades. As noted, under the fascist dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, the Philippine government subjected Sison to arbitrary detention from 1977 to 1986, and to physical and mental torture including waterboarding, beatings, more than five years of solitary confinement, prolonged deprivation of basic necessities as well as medical and dental care, and repeated death threats.

The arrest of Jose Maria Sison in The Netherlands on supposedly criminal charges follows closely on the heels of a ruling by the European Court of First Instance (ECFI) on July 11 of this year that overturned a decision by the Council of the European Union to maintain Sison’s classification as a “terrorist.” This earlier—and overturned—classification enabled the authorities to constantly harass Sison: to prevent him from working, to deprive him of social benefits to which he is legally entitled, to slander him, and to incite the public against him in a way that puts his physical integrity at great risk.

After the ruling by the ECFI overturning the designation of Sison as a terrorist, Luis Jalandoni of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines cautioned that "The people must continue to be vigilant and militant in defense of the rights of Professor Jose Maria Sison because the U.S., Philippine and European authorities wish to keep him in their respective terrorist lists, despite the fact that he has never committed any act of terrorism in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world."

That turned out to be a prescient warning, as less than two months later the persecution of Sison took the form of criminal charges and his arrest on August 28.

The Hounding of Sison

After the fall of the hated Marcos dictatorship, the regime of Cory Aquino released Jose Maria Sison from military detention on March 5, 1986. Charges of subversion and rebellion against him were nullified through the dissolution of military commissions that served as organs of repression under Marcos. Sison joined the Asian Studies Center of the University of the Philippines in April 1986 as a professor and, in September 1986, he began a series of university lectures and solidarity speeches in Oceania, Asia, and Europe on the situation and prospects of the Philippines.

Philippine military authorities publicly attacked Professor Sison’s lectures and pressured the Aquino regime to cancel his Philippine passport. In September of 1988, Sison’s Philippine passport was canceled. He applied for political asylum in The Netherlands in October 1988. While Sison was in The Netherlands, the Dutch Ministry of Justice used false claims against him by the Philippine government as the basis for issuing a negative decision on his asylum application in July 1990.

In 1992, the highest Dutch administrative court annulled that decision. The court recognized Professor Sison as a political refugee and criticized the Ministry for using secret intelligence dossiers against him in contravention of the principle of fair administration and for delaying for more than four years the approval of his asylum application. (For a history of the persecution of Sison, see “Chronology of the Persecution of Prof. Jose Maria Sison by the Philippine, U.S. and Dutch Governments,” by the International DEFEND Committee, August 18, 2007, available online.)

Despite the ruling by the Dutch administrative court, authorities in The Netherlands have continued to harass Sison, refusing to allow him to work, and continuing to make his political activity, and his very survival, difficult. And now this has all gone to a new level, with these outrageous charges filed and the wholesale raids that went with them.

Revolution in the Philippines Is a Just Cause

The Philippines is a nation ravaged by imperialism. One form this takes is inhuman exploitation of millions of Philippine children. A study conducted in the late 1990s identified that more than one child in six, almost four million of twenty-two million children in the Philippines, toiled as child laborers. More than two million of these children worked in especially hazardous environments, including digging underground and hauling ore in the strategic and profitable copper, gold, chromite and nickel mining industries. (“Children in Small-scale Mining: Sibutad, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines,” by Dulce P. Estrella-Gust, included in the anthology Child labour in small-scale mining: Examples from Niger, Peru & Philippines, edited by Norman S. Jennings) Millions of other children in the Philippines work on pineapple, banana, rubber, and sugar plantations, as domestic servants, in manufacturing sweatshops, in the fishing industry, diving for pearls, and as laborers on the docks. 1.5 million children in the Philippines are homeless.

A succession of pro-U.S. puppet regimes has acted as comprador administrators for this kind of imperialist super-exploitation of the Philippines’ people and resources. Under the direction of the U.S. government, they have brutally and violently suppressed every protest and rebellion against these conditions. It is in this tradition that Kristie Kenney, the United States ambassador to the Philippines, invoked the so-called “war on terror” and the supposed safety of Americans in applauding the arrest of Sison. Even though the European Court had overturned the designation of Sison as a terrorist, Kenney told a Philippine newspaper, “As you know the United Nations, the European Union and the Philippines have all labeled the NPA a terrorist group…we work very hard to prevent terrorist groups from getting financing and all our citizens safe.” (Quoted in “Dutch envoy: There’s basis for Sison’s arrest,” by Alcuin Papa, Juliet Labog-Javellana, Cynthia Balana, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8/30/07).

The decades-long persecution of Jose Maria Sison, and his recent arrest in The Netherlands, are crimes orchestrated by U.S. imperialism and their Philippine puppets in the service of violently maintaining an oppressive and exploitive world-wide system of imperialism. It is aimed at the people’s right to resist this domination and, ltimately, to make revolution against an unbearably unjust and tyrannical system. Jose Maria Sison must be set free, and the U.S., Philippine, and Dutch governments must stop subjecting him to fascist attacks.

prison and beyond

A Furnace
by Jose Ma. Sison

When it was December
I compared my cell
By midnight to a freezer
And by midday to an oven

Now that it is summer
I compare it to hell
But because of its smallness
I also call it a furnace
'Tis a seething furnace
For tempering steel
And purifying gold
'Tis a comforting metaphor

15 March 1978
From "Prison and Beyond" Selected Poems of Jose Ma. Sison

from revcom.us

SISON RELEASED AFTER 17 DAYS:

there are reports that the Dutch police released Philippine revolutionary, Professor Jose Maria Sison, on September 13—after detaining him for 17 days. Philippine news services report that, “In a statement posted at the website of the Dutch Justice Ministry, the court said that there are 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.’ It added, ‘Neither do they [charges] contain sufficient concrete indications that the accused incited others to commit these serious offenses.’” At the same time, news reports indicate that Dutch prosecutors continue to threaten to bring charges against Sison.

Jose Maria Sison is quoted in news reports as saying he was held in solitary confinement and that “During my confinement, I remembered those five years that I was placed in solitary confinement under military custody” during the martial law era in the Philippines.

The decades-long persecution of Jose Maria Sison, and his recent arrest in The Netherlands, have been orchestrated by U.S. imperialism and their Philippine puppets....

Brother Number 0

This celebration over the release of Comrade Sison is short lived! It has just been report Khmer Communist Party leader Nuon Chea has been arrested near the Thai border! He is going to be brought in front of some UN Kangaroo court for so-called "human rights" violations! All out to support Nuon Chea!

r. john

This is trolling.

And equating Sison with Nuon Chea is obviously bullshit.

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