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Letters to Jose Maria Sison





Statement to the Court
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

1 July 2003

Your Honor:

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to express my views and sentiments on so serious a matter involving my life and basic rights.

I was legally admitted to the Netherlands on 23 January 1987 on a visitorís visum in the course of my global university lecture tour. Then I was given a residence permit as a research consultant of a department in the University of Utrecht.

Since I applied for political asylum in October 1988, I have been provided with the social benefits for food allowance, housing and insurance for health and third party liability because I have been prohibited from taking employment commensurate to my professional training and experience.

I have always considered it fair that I must have the basic necessities of life according to the laws and treaty obligations of the Dutch government, especially after the Raad van State recognized me as a political refugee under the Refugee Convention and adjudged me as someone under the absolute protection of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Indeed, the Dutch authorities have provided me such basic necessities according to law and established practice from October 1988 to October 2002. For these, I have been grateful to the Dutch people and to the Dutch government. However, these benefits have been taken away arbitrarily and unjustly since November 2002.

It is cruel, inhuman and cynical for the current Dutch authorities to argue that they have simply the power and authority to take away from me every possible means of survival, that I have absolutely no right in that regard and that they can ignore or violate the laws and treaty obligations of the Dutch government, which require respect for human rights.

By being deprived of the basic necessities of life, I suffer the violation of my basic human right to life. My right to nonrefoulement under the Refugee Convention and my right to the absolute protection of Article 3 and entirety of the European Convention on Human Rights are put at risk and are actually being violated. I am practically being told and pressured to leave the Netherlands or else suffer starvation, illness and death in the absence of food, shelter and health insurance.

My right to due process is violated as I am being punished so severely because of the false allegation of a heinous crime called terrorism. It is bad enough that the withdrawal of social benefits from me has upset my family budget and living conditions for more than ten months already. I am also being outrightly deprived of the right to private and family life as I am ordered in one official notice to leave my house within three days and separate myself from my own wife and son.

I am being driven to the streets and made an open target for those who want to do me harm. The act of listing me in my real name as a terrorist in official publications has the aim of demonising, stigmatising and isolating me from the Dutch and other communities. It has subjected me to a trial and conviction by publicity.

This is not the first time that I have been subjected to false accusations and therefore to persecution by the Dutch authorities. The Manila government as well as the US government supplied the Dutch government with so many false accusations against me in order to interfere in my asylum case and prevent the grant of asylum.

The Dutch justice ministry parroted such false accusations from 1990 to 1997. And it never showed any sign of remorse or embarrassment when the Manila government through its own justice secretary issued an official certification stating that there were no pending criminal charges against me.

It is deplorable that the Law Unification Chamber (REK) of the Aliensí Court in 1997 ran counter to the decisions of the Raad van State that it is against the principle of sound administration to use secret dossiers against me and that if there is no other country to which I can transfer, without putting at risk or violating my right under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Dutch government has no choice but to grant me asylum and the permit to reside in the Netherlands.

To this day, there is no criminal charge filed against me by any government before any court. Definitely, there is no formal charge of terrorism against me before any court in the world. The charge of murder being belatedly fabricated against me in Manila is in flagrant violation of the Hernandez political offense doctrine in Philippine jurisprudence.

It is likewise in violation of the Joint agreement of Safety and Immunity Guarantees and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in the peace negotiations between the Manila government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

I wish to declare categorically that I am not a terrorist. I have in fact been a proven victim of the state terrorism of the US-sponsored Marcos fascist dictatorship. I am a political refugee, recognized as such under Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention by the Raad van State, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Amnesty International. Even the Dutch government and the REK have recognized me as a political refugee since 1997.

I abhor terrorism, be it the terrorism of the alleged private group that attacked the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 or the state terrorism involved in the killing of 1.5 million Filipinos by the US aggressors from 1899 to 1913 or in the killing of at least 100,000 Filipinos and dislocation of millions of Filipinos by the US-supported Marcos fascist dictatorship.

The act of listing me as a terrorist first by the US government and then by other governments under the influence of the US government is baseless and arbitrary. It has a malicious political motivation. It is calculated to intimidate and pressure me as the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in its peace negotiations with the Manila government.

It is regrettable that the Dutch government is actively participating in a campaign to persecute me and goes to the extent of depriving me of the basic necessities of life and violating my basic human right to life. This government is doing so even after the UN Security Council issued Resolution 1452 dated 20 December 2002 and the Council of the European Union issued Regulation EC No.561/2003, dated 27 March 2003, requiring Member States to allow basic necessities of life to individuals in the list of suspected terrorists.

In its 15 May 2003 decision on my application for interim measures, the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg declared that the aforesaid UNSC resolution and CEU regulation require the Member States (the Dutch state in my case) to allow those individuals in the list of suspected terrorists to have the basic necessities of life.

It is a vicious act of inhumanity to take away from persons like me, who are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, food, medicine and other basic necessities that no decent government takes away even from convicted murderers in prison. The people in the Netherlands and other countries understand this point very well. Thus, so many of them have joined the international solidarity campaign to defend and support me in my current travail. I take this opportunity to thank all of them.

I am glad that the people of the world oppose the US and other governments for using the events of 11 September 2001 to justify and unleash wars of aggression, undertake political repression and violate human rights and international humanitarian law. By doing so with complete impunity, these governments are pushing down humanity to a hellish situation of unbridled crisis, fascism and war and are doing far worse than any of the private groups previously trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency and special forces to engage in terrorism. #

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