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Volume 2, Number 33 September 22 - 28, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
Back Call to Defend Sison’s Rights
is growing abroad against the persecution of Filipino political exile Jose Maria
Sison, whose bank account was frozen and social benefits denied by Dutch
authorities last week. Latest to join the call to stop the harassment of Sison
– a move precipitated by the U.S. state department’s and the Arroyo
government’s labeling him as “terrorist” – are members of the European
Hong Kong groups submit their petition to Dutch Consul General AC Brouwer, airing concern over the “process used by governments to determine terrorists”
While the Dutch government is tightening its noose on Jose Maria Sison, 22 members of the European Parliament have expressed concern and support for the call to defend the democratic and civil rights of the Filipino political exile.
a letter released Sept. 21, the Euro-Parliamentarians from Denmark, France,
Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden also asked
the Dutch government to withdraw the names of the Communist Party of the
Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) from its list of terrorist
organizations. They also supported the resumption of peace talks between the
National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Arroyo government.
founding chair of the CPP and chief political consultant of the NDFP, has been
denied of his and his family’s monthly welfare assistance which he used to
receive as a political refugee. His bank account has been frozen as well. He has
been living in exile in Utrecht, The Netherlands in 1987 after his release from
a 10-year imprisonment under Marcos.
their letter addressed to Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the Euro-Parliamentarians
expressed deep concern for the deprivation of housing, medical insurance, food
allowance and other basic necessities for the Sison family, and the freezing of
his bank account.
request you to withdraw your government’s listing of the CPP/NPA and Professor
Jose Maria Sison as terrorists and to support the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations,
which your government has hosted in the past,” the letter said.
parliamentarians made the request in accordance with European Parliament
Resolutions in 1997 and 1999, which strongly supported and endorsed the peace
talks between the two parties.
the letter were P. Frahm (Denmark); Y. Boudjenah, S. Ainardi, F. Sylla, A.
Krivine (France); H. Markov, F. Uca, C. Fiebiger (Germany); E. Korakas, K.
Alyssandrakis, D. Koulourianos (Greece); L. Vinci, L. Manisco (Italy); E. Meijer
(Netherlands); J. Miranda, I. Figueiredo (Portugal); P. Marset, S. Jove, A.
Puerta, L. Gonzales (Spain); and J, Sjostedt, H. Schmid (Sweden).
calls came from two Dutch clergymen, Archbishop Joris Vercammen of the Old
Catholic Church of Utrecht and Dominee Hans Visser of Paulus Kerk of Rotterdam.
In a news conference in Utrecht Sept. 18, the two expressed their dismay and
disapproval of the actions taken by the Dutch authorities to brand Sison as a
“terrorist” and cut off the social benefits due him as a political refugee.
Vercammen expressed concern that the actions of the U.S. and Dutch governments
to brand the CPP, NPA and Sison as “terrorists” would have dire implications
on the peace negotiations between the Manila government and the NDFP.
Canada, Filipino and Canadian human rights groups marched to the Dutch embassy
in Vancouver on Sept. 16 to demand a stop to the persecution of Sison and his
family by the Dutch and U.S. governments. Beth Grayer of Grassroots Women said
that the political persecution of Sison “is an explicit attempt to limit the
Filipino people’s democratic right to organize and express their aspirations
for national liberation.”
B.C. Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines said the rallyists were
supported by members of the Mexican, Palestinian, South Asian and First Nations
communities as well as Canadian workers unions and human rights organizations.
Tokyo, the Japan Network for a Peaceful, Sovereign and Free Philippines (JNPSFP)
denounced the moves taken by the Dutch and U.S. governments against Sison. “In
effect, said Kei Morishita, initiator of JNPSFP, “the Dutch government is
violating the Refugee Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms of which the Sison family is under protection.”
Sison’s rights are violated when he was criminalized as a ‘terrorist’
without the benefit of due process, being demonized as such by name in official
public announcements and being subjected to punitive measures that deprive him
of the basic necessities of life and that violates his basic human rights to
live,” Morishita said.
freezing of Sison’s bank account and denial of his social benefits were taken
by Dutch authorities following U.S. demands that Sison, the CPP and NPA –
having been designated as “terrorist” by the U.S. state department – be
denied of their bank accounts and other assets in foreign countries. Reports
said Sison is the target of a U.S. plan to have him extradited to an American
territory where he will face criminal prosecution. Bulatlat.com