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Letters to Jose Maria Sison





Joma/ Jose Maria Sison
4 April, 2009

I consider as positive the advice of Senator Chiz Escudero to the Arroyo government to speak with the US government and the European Union to remove the terrorist tag on me and the Communist Party of the Philippines, if by "temporarily" he means while peace negotiations are going on between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in accordance with their existing bilateral agreements.

I admire Senator Escudero's critical comment that the GRP is apparently maintaining a hard-line stance and prolonging the impasse by throwing a monkey wrench to the peace process through the terrorist listing. It was the GRP that requested the US to designate the CPP, NPA and myself as terrorist when Arroyo visited the US in November 2001. Then it followed up and pressed for the approval of its request when then US State Secretary Colin Powell went to the Philippines in early August 2002. Within days after Powell's return to the US, the CPP, NPA and myself were designated as "terrorists". As foreign secretary, Blas Ople also visited several European countries to campaign for the inclusion of the aforementioned in the so-called terrorist blacklist of the European Union.

The false charge of inciting murder, my arrest, detention and daily interrogation for more than a week, the raids on the NDFP office, my home and six other homes were all meant to fish for evidence not only for the charge of inciting murder but also for the charge of terrorism. But no hard evidence for any criminal offense by me was found. Unlike US and Philippine law, which requires the prior listing of specific things to be searched and seized under judicial warrant, Dutch law allows the seizure of all things deemed relevant to a charge and requires that a new or additional charge is filed upon discovery of evidence for it. The Dutch government did not find hard or sufficient evidence against me for murder, terrorism or any other crime. This is a strong ground for the Council of the European Union to remove my name from its blacklist and for the Dutch government to move for the removal of my name.

Despite the repeated brazen use of false charges against me, the violations of my rights and the abuses heaped upon me, I have publicly declared that, as a consequence of the dismissal of the charge of inciting the murder of two military assets, I have gained more time to devote to my work as chief political consultant of the NDFP in the peace negotiations with the GRP. I would also become less burdened and become more determined in working for a just and lasting if the terrorist tag is lifted by the US government and the Council of the European Union.

The Arroyo government should heed the advice of the highly respected Senator Chiz Escudero. The removal of the terrorist tag would greatly improve the atmosphere for the peace negotiations and would encourage progress of the process in terms of further substantive agreements. In view of the global and domestic financial and economic crisis that continue to worsen and deepen, it is important and urgent for the GRP and NDFP to resume formal talks in the peace negotiations in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements, pay immediate attention to the implementation of the agreement on respect for human rights and international humanitarian law and produce a comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms at the soonest possible time.

Joma/ Jose Maria Sison


Sen Chiz Escudero asked the government yesterday to speak with the United States government and the European Union if both can temporarily remove the terrorist tag on Jose. Ma. Sison and the Communist Party of the Philippines so that peace talks can resume with the leftist rebels.

By throwing a monkey wrench to the process, the government is seemingly maintaining a hard-line stance and prolonging the impasse, the opposition senator said.

Escudero said leftist rebels could be convinced to return to the negotiating table after a Dutch court dropped murder charges against exiled CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison.

The case involved Sison as allegedly behind the killing of former New People's Army (NPA) comrades Romulo Kintanar and Antonio Tabora.

The National Democratic Front (NDF) previously sought a halt to the persecution of Mr. Sison, he recalled.

The NDF is the umbrella group of left-leaning organizations in the Philippines, while the NPA is its armed wing.

Talks between the two sides have been suspended since 2003.

Meanwhile, the opposition senator called on the authorities to resolve quickly the case of Edelina Jolloso-Jerus, the widow of a slain activist who was shot dead this week in Sorsogon.

This crime may inflame passions in the Bicol region, especially now that the Philippine-US Balikatan exercises have just gotten underway, Escudero said.

Let us give peace a chance and offer hope to the people that the longest-running communist insurgency in Asia that has sapped resources and affected so many lives can be resolved peacefully.

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