Peace Forum and Launching of books by Jose Maria Sison


Hong Kong


April 27, 2009




Photos courtesy of HK Defend


Press Release – April 27, 2009

For reference: Ramon Bultron, HK Defend convenor
Contact No. (852) 9477 3141

Defending the Defender, Continuing the Struggle
JMS Books launched in Hong Kong

His insights provide the purview to today’s crisis of imperialism and the need for people to struggle.

This was the statement of yesterday’s launching of Prof. Jose Maria Sison’s Selected Works (1991-2009), a published four-book compilation of articles he wrote during the past 19 years of his exile. It was launched in Wanchai, Hong Kong last April 26.

“At the height of the global recession, it is quite timely for us to have Prof. Sison’s books as they provide us with a perspective in better understanding and addressing our current situation as well as what we can do,” said Ramon Bultron, convenor of HK Defend.

HK Defend, the organizer of the event, is a loose network of organizations and individuals calling for the defense of Prof. Sison’s democratic rights. The book launching is part of a series to release Prof. Sison’s Selected Works globally.

Prof. Sison graced the event with a live video message that enthused the more than 100 participants. He gamely answered questions from the audience and discussed about the global recession, the growing people’s resistance and his status as political refugee in The Netherlands.

Prof. Sison is a known Filipino revolutionary having founded the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in 1968. Because of his beliefs, he has been a favorite target of political persecution. Apart from the torture he experienced during the Marcos dictatorship, the Cory Aquino government cancelled his passport in 1988 rendering him stateless.

In 2002, he was included by the U.S. and Philippine governments in their list of foreign terrorist organizations and individuals. The European Union followed suit by adding him in its own list. Recently, he won against a trumped-up murder charge filed by Dutch government upon the instigation of the Philippine and US governments. The Dutch Court dismissed the case stating it to lacking sufficient evidence and being politically motivated.

Only two of the four books were released yesterday: “For Justice, Socialism and Peace” and “For Democracy and Socialism Against Imperialist Globalization”. All copies of the two books were sold out as ten more reservations were made.

“The successful book launching shows not only the growing support for the campaign to defend Prof. Sision but also the people’s continued search for an alternative to imperialism’s crisis,” said Bultron. “By organizing this book launch, our support for Prof. Sison is our contribution to the global campaign against the demonization of political activists who boldly expressed their stand against imperialism and the need for social change.”



Peace Forum and Book Launching, A Success
Filipinos and friends gather to discuss peace prospects in the Philippines and JMS book launch

The cold rains were nothing compared to the glow of warm solidarity.

More than 100 Filipinos and friends attended a forum on human rights and peace in the Philippines as well as the book launching of Prof. Jose Maria Sison’s Selected Works. Other solidarity friends and guests included Prof. Hairung of Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, YC Chen of Local Action, Choi Fung and Terry of Anonymous A8 as well as Necta Montes and Sunita Suna of the World Student Christian Federation Asia Pacific.

The forum, organized by the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines, focused on the prospects of human rights and peace in the Philippines. Atty. Remigio Saladero Jr of PRO-LABOR Center, Fidel Agcaoili of the negotiating panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and Hon. Leung Kwok-Hung of the League of Social Democrats composed the panel of speakers

Atty. Saladero, himself a people’s lawyer and social activist, discussed about his ordeal as a target of the Philippine government’s political persecution. He further related this attack on legal activists to the spate of extrajudicial killings and the over-all counter-insurgency campaign of the Gloria Arroyo regime.

Fidel Agcaoili expounded on the history and prospects of the peace talks between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). He highlighted how the peace talks came about and how the GRP has time and again violated the many agreements that both parties have agreed on. He said that there is a possible resumption of the peace negotiations should the GRP heed to some of the NDFP’s demands.

Leung Kwok-Hung, also known to many as Long Hair, shared his experiences in the Philippine solidarity movement. He expressed how important the Philippine struggle has been while paying homage to all those who have sacrificed their lives to the cause.

Following the open forum, Likha Filipino Migrant Cultural Organization rendered a performance interpreting Prof. Sison’s sung poem “What Makes A Hero”.

The second event of the program was the launching of Prof. Sison’s books collectively titled Selected Works (1991-2009). This event is organized by the Hong Kong Committee to Defend the Democratic Rights of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, or HK Defend.

Ramon Bultron, a convenor of HK Defend, shared with the people the importance of launching Prof. Sison’s books. As we are faced with the global recession, he said, it is very important to be provided with Prof. Sison’s perspective, through his book, on the crisis of imperialist globalization and the need for the people to struggle.

Thanks to technology, we were able to converse with Prof. Sison who came online to share his views on his books and willingly answer questions at the same time.

The first two of his Selected Works were released that time: For Justice, Socialism and Peace and For Democracy and Socialism against Imperialist Globalization. The next two books will follow.

It was indeed an afternoon that provided many supporters of the Filipino people’s cause with a glimpse of not only the reality of the people’s suffering but of their courage and willingness to struggle.