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Letters to Jose Maria Sison





Deprivation of the Basic Necessities of Life, Violation of the Basic Human Right to Life
16 September 2002


Mr. Drs. C. E. van der Linden
Hoofd, Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid
Postbus 8029, 3503 SB Utrecht
Bezoekaddress: Oudenoord 275 Utrecht
Telefax: 030-2865661

Dear Mr. van der Linden,

Thank you for your 10 September 2002 letter informing me that, starting from 15 August 2002 in accordance with the sanctieregeling terrorisme (sanction regulation against terrorism) 2002 III, you have terminated benefits previously due to me as hereunder stated:

  1. payment of an allowance for food and other basic necessities,
  2. accommodation or housing, and
  3. health insurance and third party liability insurance.

By your action, you have gone farther than the freeze on the joint Postbank account with my wife, Julieta Sison de Lima, previously ordered by the Dutch finance minister to the Postbank. You have proceeded to deprive me directly of the basic necessities of life and carried further the cruel attack on my basic right to life in concert with the Dutch authorities that have previously promulgated the sanctieregeling.

Now, I cannot expect any more amount from your direction going into the aforesaid joint bank account with my wife. You have also terminated the user’s agreement that I had signed for the apartment in which my wife, son and I are living. We are now threatened with being driven to the streets, despite your assurance of temporary use of the apartment pending the next whim of those who play the role of inscrutable gods.

Your act of terminating all benefits and the bank freeze have effectively put my family in arrears of payments to the grocer, the dentist, the insurance company and others who have provided us with goods and services since July. We now face not only the danger of suffering hunger, lack of water and electricity and ill health without medical insurance but also the ignominy of being accused of fraud for failure to pay for goods and services that have been delivered to us.

As you have put it, there is still no solution for the accommodation of members of my family as a consequence of your terminating the aforesaid user’s agreement. Indeed, the assault is not only on my basic right to life but also that of other members of my family. Their living conditions are now put in jeopardy by your action.

It is clear to me that you have the duty to look after the basic human right to life and right to basic necessities of life among your clients. But what you have done to seek approval for the restoration of the aforementioned benefits is somewhat unclear to me. At any rate, I thank you for whatever positive action that you have taken in this regard, provided I am not misrepresented in any way as terrorist.

I appreciate your calling my attention to the possibility under Article 3 of the sanctieregeling terrorisme 2002 III to request the Minister of Finance for a lifting of the prohibitions for humanitarian reasons. Regarding this point, I shall consult with my lawyer whether such a request would mean submission to the false charge of terrorism and other unjust and oppressive presumptions of the sanctieregeling against me.

Certainly, I can never agree with the undemocratic act of my being criminalized as a terrorist without the benefit of due process, being demonised as such by name in official public announcements and being subjected to punitive measures that deprive me of the basic necessities of life and that violate my basic human right to life.

For your information, nowhere in the world, not even in the Philippines, is there any formal charge of common crime or political crime against me. The Manila government declared in 1998 that there is no pending criminal charge against me. Since then, no criminal charge has ever been brought against me. I find it outrageous that I am being treated worse than a convicted common criminal.

To demand the restoration of the basic necessities of life that have been taken away from me, I do not wish to become a beggar to the very same persecutors who seek to coerce me, under pain of starvation and loss of health insurance, into accepting the unjust and slanderous presumptions of their sanctieregeling.

I would rather assert my basic human right to life and all the rights and considerations, which previously allowed me to receive the benefits that are now taken away. I received these benefits previously as an asylum seeker, subsequently as a recognized political refugee and definitively as one under the protection of the Refugee Convention and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Said benefits are a mere pittance for bare subsistence. I would have easily earned several times more as a university professor or in some other capacity commensurate to my qualifications. Consider the loss of income for me during the last fourteen years, not to mention the lack of pension at this point in my life. I have endured the sacrifice in order to defend my rights.

I have been prevented from taking employment because of the longrunning collusion among the US, Dutch and Manila governments to prevent me from being admitted as a refugee and from getting the permit to reside in The Netherlands. I have repeatedly applied for the permit to work but I have always been refused. One prospective employer went so far as to spend a big amount of money to make a legal case for my right to work but was also frustrated.

To some extent, I am happy that there is a public airing of the fact that I have a small joint bank account with my wife and that the measly amount of money in this account comes from a social welfare agency for our bare subsistence. It is clear that we have been living in poverty, contrary to the malicious claims of our detractors in the Philippines that we live in luxury in The Netherlands.


Signed: Prof. Jose Maria Sison

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