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Why It Is Wrong and Unjust for the US to Label Prof. Jose Maria Sison as a "Terrorist"
By the International Network for Philippine Studies
1 October 2002

It is absolutely wrong and unjust for the US government to label and criminalize Prof. Jose Maria Sison as a "terrorist". So is the Dutch government for undertaking the repressive measures against him upon the bidding of the US government.

  1. There is no factual basis whatsoever for the US government to label Prof. Jose Maria Sison as a "terrorist". Contrary to the claim of certain officials of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime, there is also no basis for the US to request the Dutch government for his extradition to the US. The national security adviser of the regime, Roilo Golez, has announced that the Philippine government will not object to Prof. Sisonís extradition to the US. He has also indicated that the Philippine and US governments are reinventing the records of the investigation and findings in the 1989 killing of US Col. James Rowe in order to trump up a charge against Prof. Sison.
  2. However, it would be difficult for the two aforesaid governments to overcome the 1998 certification of the Philippine government that there is no pending criminal charge against Prof. Sison. The charge of subversion filed against him in 1988 had been dissolved by the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law in 1992. The charge related to the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing, which was belatedly filed against him in 1991, had been dismissed by the prosecutors as something based on sheer speculation. The certification was practically an admission that the Manila authorities had persecuted Prof. Sison. Since l998, there has been no criminal charge against him anywhere in the world.
  3. It must be stressed that from the time of his arrest by the Marcos fascist regime in 1977 to the time of his release in 1986 he was subjected to various forms of torture while he was under maximum-security detention. His human rights were savagely violated. For this reason, he, together with other victims of human rights violations, filed a case against Ferdinand E. Marcos in the US in 1986. After a decade of litigation, he won his case against Marcos and was awarded by the court exemplary and compensatory damages which remain unpaid. It is cruel irony that he is being demonised as a "terrorist."
  4. After his release from military prison in early March 1986, he rejoined the faculty of the University of Philippines as an associate professor in political science. He was preoccupied with his academic duties and public speaking engagements in the Philippines until the end of August 1986. Then he went abroad for a university lecture tour in the Asia Pacific region and Europe.
  5. If not for his overseas lecturing, he would have been assassinated in Manila in November 1986 when Oplan "God Save the Queen" was carried out by the ultra-Rightist coup makers. Instead, Rolando Olalia, the chairman of the Kilusang Mayo Uno and Partido ng Bayan, was kidnapped, tortured and murdered. Other assassinations plots directed against Prof. Sison were also frustrated. These included Oplan Jericho and the offer of one million pesos for his head under the Aquino regime in 1988-1990 and the sending of a hit team to the Netherlands in 2000 under the Estrada regime.
  6. While he was in The Netherlands in 1988, the Philippine military charged him with subversion and President Aquino cancelled his Philippine passport in order to force his return to the Philippines. He applied for political asylum in October 1988. He was subsequently recognized as a political refugee by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in 1991, the Raad van State in 1992 and 1995 and by the Dutch government and the Law Unity Chamber in l997. As a recognized political refugee, he is protected by the Refugee Convention and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
  7. In l990, he had been approached by the Aquino regime for exploratory talks on peace negotiations. He agreed but it was President Aquino who backed out. But starting in 1992 during the term of the Ramos regime, the peace negotiations developed within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration. Since 1992, Prof. Sison has been the chief political consultant of the NDFP. He has actively participated in the forging of ten agreements between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The most substantive of these is the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
  8. Since the time of Marcos, every president of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines has communicated with Prof. Sison by letter, phone conversation and through intermediary. He has exchanged cordialities, ideas and proposals with them. At the same time, he has always frankly and transparently stood for his principles and spoken out his views in a conscious exercise of his freedom of thought and expression in the national and democratic interest of the Filipino people.
  9. The US hates his guts for his commitment to the cause of national liberation and democracy against imperialist and feudal domination. Thus, it seeks to criminalize him as "terrorist" without any kind of evidence and without due process. It demonizes him and incites hatred against him. It has pushed the Dutch government to follow suit in persecuting him, to freeze his small joint account with his wife, to deprive him of the basic necessities of life and to violate his basic human right to life.
  10. The Bush administration must be seen as unjustly and maliciously using the September 11 attacks as an excuse to violate the national sovereignty and independence of countries and launch wars of aggression and to demonize as terrorist the movements of national liberation as well as revolutionary and progressive forces and elements. The strategy of the US is to stir up war hysteria, repress dissent, step up military production and launch wars of aggression in a futile attempt to deflect attention from the grave economic and social crisis of the US and global capitalist economy.#

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