Military harassment of artists and writers denounced

 

Quezon City

 

September 22, 2009

 

 

Bonus Tracks: European court to decide on Sison case

                                  vs Council of EU on terrorist blacklist Sept. 30

 

 


Isang araw, magkakarayuma rin ako,
magkakaaltapresyon din ako.
Tapos ay magkakasakit,
saka mamamaalam sa mundo.

 

Kaya ko yun tanggapin,
iyon ang normal na proseso ng buhay.
Iyon ang kaganapan ng buhay.
Ang hindi ko kaya ay ang mawala sa mundo

na ang nagtakda ay kapwa ko tao.
 

May mga taong nagbibigay ng deadline

sa buhay ng kapwa.

Sanay akong mag beat ng deadline.
HIndi ko gusto na may mga gustong bigyan ng deadline ang buhay ko.


Ayoko pang matapos ang istorya ng buhay ko.

 

-- Dr. Jun Cruz Reyes, UP professor in creative writing, multi-awarded writer, novelist

 

Dr. Jun Cruz Reyes, novelist   Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist
   
   
/p

/p
           

 

PRESS RELEASE – September 22, 2009

KARAPATAN reiterates call for greater vigilance to protect the people’s rights; condemns continuing human rights violations

The human rights alliance Karapatan today raised the alarm on the continuing assault to the people’s rights and reiterates its call to the public for greater vigilance on the alarming continuing killings, abductions, militarization of both urban and rural communities, harassments and surveillance of civilians and other human rights violations reminiscent of the martial law period.

In a press conference today, Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez joined the UP organizations in denouncing the series of surveillance operations committed on artist, writer and UP professor Jun Cruz Reyes, by men believed to be military intelligence agents.

Reyes, a writer and professor at the University of the Philippines reported that on September 13, 2009, a man approached him at an eatery and photographed him without his permission. He also divulged that on the same day and on September 10, men who looked like soldiers went to and observed his house in Bulacan. Reyes also disclosed that on November 15, 2007, men in army fatigues with their faces covered attempted to bribe his neighbor to point out his whereabouts. He also said that in August of 2007, two men who looked like soldiers attempted to enter his house but the dogs’ barking gave their presence away so the men ran when they saw that neighbours saw what they tried to do. After this incident, his dog was poisoned. Reyes also revealed that in 2006, he was warned by his friend that he was in the Philippine Army's so-called "order of battle" list, a list believed to be targets for "liquidation."

Reyes, who, along with national artist Bienvenido Lumbera, was among those who protested Malacanang's intervention in the conferment of this year's Order of National Artists, said that he did not give any attention to these strange events before because he was busy finishing his doctorate degree.

Enriquez said that what is happening to Prof. Jun Cruz Reyes is a clear case of surveillance operations on civilians, such as what was recently done to Prof. Bien Lumbera and to other militant activists. The pattern is very clear and the action is not only a violation of their right to privacy but is also a threat to their security and the victims have reasons to fear for their safety. "Victims of human rights violations would report that they observed being followed or that their homes or offices being under heavy surveillance by unidentified men prior to abductions or killings. And this is a reason for us to be alarmed and concerned," Hilao-Enriquez added.

Enriquez also added that these surveillance operations are all the more chilling in the face of a rise on cases of extrajudicial killings such as those of Dr. Benjamin Resuello of Northern Samar on April 1, 2009, Higaonon Datu Mampaagi Belayong of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur on Sept. 2, 2009; farmer leader Romulo Mendoba of Basey, Samar on Sept. 5, Fr. Cecilio Lucero of Catubig, Northern Samar on Sept. 6. Also on Sept. 6, youth organizer Noriel Rodriguez was abducted in Cagayan Valley also by men believed to be soldiers.

Enriquez said that the Armed Forces is stepping up its counter-insurgency operations to meet Oplan Bantay Laya's deadline for 2010. "The Macapagal-Arroyo regime conveniently uses this counter-insurgency program not only to crush insurgents but to silence the critics of her anti-people policies. We call on the people to resist the Arroyo tyranny! Never again to martial law," Hilao-Enriquez concluded.###

Reference: Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson (mobile # 09175616800)
DJ Acierto, Public Information Officer (09189790580)

-----
KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign. It was established in 1995.

     
           

 

National artist home cased by AFP intelligence units

UA No: 2009-09-03
UA Date : 17 September 2009
UA Case : Threat/Harassment/Intimidation

Victim/s : Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera
• 77 years old
• Married to Shane Lumbera, with children
• Resident of Mapayapa Village, Quezon City
• National Artist for Literature
• Founding member and chairperson of ACT Teachers Partylist
• Former chairperson of Alliance of Concerned Teachers

• National council member of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan

Place of Incident : The Lumbera residence at Mapayapa Village which is also registered as the National Headquarters of ACT Teachers Partylist

Date of Incident : 17 September 2009
Alleged Perpetrator(s): 3 men believed to be members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
 

One of them was identified as Navy Corporal Hannival Mondido Guerrero
 

Accounts of the Incident:
 

Initial reports reveal that at around 6:00 am of September 17, 2006, three men were seen taking photos
of the home of National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera in Mapayapa Village, Quezon City. The Lumberas’
house helpers noticed the men taking photos of the house at all angles.
 

Alarmed, the Lumberas immediately called the Village security personnel who quickly responded to the
residence. The security was only able to apprehend one of the men, identified by his Armed Forces of
the Philippines (AFP) ID as Corporal Hannival Mondido Guerrero. Guerrero’s companions quickly
escaped when the village security arrived.
 

Guerrero’ was questioned by village security why he was casing the Lumbera home. Guerrero insisted
that he was only interested in the vacant lot beside the Lumbera home.
 

The village security turned over custody of Guerrero to the local police. The PNP released Mondido
shortly after questioning and after Prof. Lumbera filed a complaint.

The Philippine Navy confirmed that Guerrero is indeed a member of the Philippine Marines and that
he’s undergoing “surveillance training” under the military’s Naval Intelligence Security Force.
 

Recommended Action:
 

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:
 

1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into surveillance and harassment of Bienvenido Lumbera.
 

2. The military to stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”
 

3. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

 

Download in PDF format
 

     
 

 

     

 

 

 

PRESS STATEMENT – September 17, 2009

Reference: Sarah Raymundo, Spokesperson (09062056427)

 

ACT Teachers Partylist condemns surveillance and harassment on chairperson and national artist Bienvenido Lumbera

 

ACT Teachers Partylist strongly condemn the surveillance and harassment by the Armed Forces of the Philippines on our chairperson and National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera.

 

The military surveillance conducted this morning by members of the intelligence units of the AFP is a serious threat to the life of our colleague and his family, given the AFP’s track record on human rights violations against leaders and members of progressive partylist groups and people’s organizations. Heavy surveillance on homes and work places of members of progressive partylist groups and activists, prior to grave human rights violations, is reported by the victims. This is a recurring pattern used by the Arroyo henchmen to all those it considers as "enemies of the state."

 

 

Prof. Bienvenido Lumbera is far from being an "enemy of the state." He is a National Artist for Literature who have spoken against Malacañang's manipulation of this year's National Artists Award. He is a prominent educator and a former national chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers who have joined the teachers in their struggle for just wages and compensation. He is a concerned citizen who lent his voice, along with others, against the Arroyo regime's charter change and attacks against civil liberties. He is also a founding member and incumbent national chairperson of ACT Teachers Partylist who aim to bring to congress the issues and demands of the teachers and workers of the education sector.

 

The ACT Teacher's Partylist is far from being a threat to national security for its members to become subjects to intelligence gathering resources of the AFP.  We are a partylist, participating in the 2010 elections, to ensure that the rights and welfare of the Filipino teachers shall be protected through legislations. We are a partylist aiming to bring to congress the pertinent educational reforms, and the needs and legitimate demands of the education sector. We are a partylist denouncing the negligence and the unjust policies of the Arroyo government furthering the burdens of the Filipino teachers and students, and of the people.

 

However, the Arroyo regime have already deemed these as grounds to be considered as "enemy of the state" just as it had condemned the martyrs of other progressive partylists and people's organizations as "terrorists," and targets for their so-called "neutralization" campaign under the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya. The intelligence operation which Prof. Lumbera is a subject of, is further proof that the Arroyo is again monitoring and targeting progressive party-list groups, and will again attempt to thwart these partylists' participation in the 2010 elections through harassment and threats to their lives.

 

We remind Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston's recommendation to stop the tagging of progressive partylists and people's organizations as "terrorist fronts." We also call upon Arroyo call to an end the surveillance operations and harassment on Prof. Lumbera, ACT, ACT Teacher partylist and other progressive people's organizations.

 

We hold the AFP and the Arroyo regime accountable if any harm comes to Prof. Lumbera, his family or any member of ACT Teachers Partylist or ACT.###

 

     
=          
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 Concerned Artists of the Philippines

PRESS STATEMENT
17 September 2009
Reference: Roselle Pineda, 0929-6454102

Military harassment of National Artist and CAP chair Bienvenido Lumbera, denounced

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) denounced the military harassment by the Arroyo regime of its chairman, National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, following the citizen's arrest of a member of the Philippine Marines who was part of a group of military personnel casing his residence early this morning, September 17.

The Philippine Marine, an enlisted AFP intelligence personnel identified through his ID as Corporal Guerrero Hannival Mosura Mondido, was with a group that was taking photos of Lumbera's house and asking about the poet and National Artist when he was apprehended by security guards of the middle-class subdivision where Lumbera holds residence. Mondido's companions immediately fled when he was approached and interrogated by the guards. Mondido was turned over to the Quezon City police after interrogation by subdivision authorities. (A copy of Mondido's ID is in the attached PDF file.)

"This is clear intimidation by the Arroyo regime on one of the most consistent critics of its multifarious abuses against the people," said Roselle Pineda, CAP spokesperson. She noted in particular that Lumbera is a leading signatory to a pending petition in the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to uphold this year's roster of new National Artists recommended by the joint panel of the country's foremost cultural institutions tasked by law to supervise the nomination process. Pineda also explained that Lumbera is a leading signatory as well to the past impeachment complaints filed by militant people's organizations against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Lumbera, a 1993 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, is also head of the ACT Teachers' Partylist.

"That such fascist tactics are now being undertaken by the regime nullifies the idea being implied by the current electoral circus that we are in a true-blue democracy," Pineda stressed. "This is one way how megacorruption, government abuse, puppetry and wanton government disregard of our people's welfare holds sway in our Motherland, and subverts Filipino democratic and patriotic aspirations" , she added.

Pineda expressed fears the incident may well indicate a rise of military meddling in politics in the months ahead to "ensure that the Arroyo camp gets its way, with or without elections, definitely via cheating, subterfuge and emergency rule a la September 21, 1972, as necessary."

 

           


Streetwise

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

In the order of battle

Long before Bienvenido “Ka Bien” Lumbera was named Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and National Artist, I knew him as one of the most gifted and resilient of the cultural and political activists coming from the martial law period. The gifted part has been validated by a body of work not just read by scholars, students and admirers but performed on stage and watched by a much broader audience.

The resilient part has just been confirmed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) whose intelligence operatives were caught last week with their pants down conducting a surveillance operation on the mild-mannered professor who has continued to recite nationalist, some say incendiary, poems in protest rallies against the Arroyo government even after receiving the coveted awards.

Why would the military, which surely has better things to do, target such a soft-spoken, pleasant and by all accounts, unlikely security threat as Prof. Lumbera?

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro attempts to downplay the incident by saying it was a complete mistake for the military to have ordered the surveillance and that heads would roll. (We await the heads that Mr. Teodoro will offer up as proof of his decisive action.)

The military spokesperson tries to pass off the incident as a routine intelligence training exercise assigned to a rookie enlisted man who obviously failed the test by getting caught. (What about the two others who escaped? Were they more senior and therefore more capable because they got away?) He also describes a supposedly hypothetical scenario that the surveillance team was supposed to verify, that alleged communists were converging in Prof. Lumbera’s residence. (But the Navy claims Prof. Lumbera’s address was picked out at random and there was no deliberate attempt to target Prof. Lumbera himself.)

Executive Secretary Ermita tries to trivialize the incident by cracking a mindless joke, making it appear that the unfortunate incident is just a fluke in the navy’s intelligence training program.

Tell that to the marines!

Ka Bien is the Chairperson of the progressive Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) which is listed in AFP briefings since 2006 as an "enemy of the state". ACT has announced it will take part in the party list elections in 2010. Pioneering progressive party list organizations such as Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party and Anakpawis have all been similarly accused as “enemies of the state”, its leaders, ordinary members and even mere supporters placed in a veritable death list called an “Order of Battle”.

Prior to and during the 2007 elections, the AFP undertook a comprehensive and all-out campaign against these party list organizations, including what they euphemistically referred to in their documents as “special operations of the Palparan model”. Subsequently many leaders and members of these groups ended up victims of extra-judicial killing, enforced disappearance, torture, illegal arrest and detention and all manner of state terrorist attacks.

The only byte of truth in the official excuses is the slip-of-the-tongue reference to the AFP’s suspecting Prof. Lumbera of having links with communist leaders. This, more than his being one of the most prominent leaders of the organized umbrage against Malacañang’s use of the National Artist Award to reward Arroyo ass-kissers, has made Prof. Lumbera a marked man.
 

 

Evidently for the same reason, another multi-awarded writer, UP Professor Efren “Jun” Cruz, has been the subject of renewed military surveillance in his home in Hagonoy, Bulacan. Prof. Cruz first experienced intense surveillance and was warned by friendly local officials that his name was listed in the military’s “Order of Battle” in 2007. It was there and then that UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Emperor were abducted also in Hagonoy, when General. Jovito Palparan was the Central Luzon Regional Commander.

The sinister implications of these cases are not difficult to see. UN rapporteur Alston confirmed the existence of an AFP “Order of Battle”. Most of those listed are known to have been subjected to surveillance and harassment before they were killed or abducted. Prof. Lumbera appears to be on this “Order of Battle”, if not an eminent candidate for inclusion.

The recent noticeable resurgence of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of progressive activists and human rights defenders together with the intelligence operations on Professors Lumbera and Cruz underscore the fact that the Arroyo government has not abandoned its counter-insurgency policy under Oplan Bantay Laya, of attacking legal personalities linked with the progressive movement.

There is no irony behind the fact that the specter of a police state victimizing its citizens as exemplified by the Lumbera case, along with persistent warnings that despite the elections hoopla, the cabal of Arroyo-Ermita-Gonzales are plotting to declare, if not martial law, then a “state of emergency” in order to retain power, are all taking place on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of martial law. These only underscore the fact that the overthrow of the Marcos Dictatorship and the so-called restoration of democracy in 1986 had not decisively eradicated the roots of tyranny and fascism in Philippine society.

We are starkly reminded that martial rule was not just about the machinations of a power-hungry, greedy, devious and ruthless man, Ferdinand E. Marcos, and not even of a “conjugal dictatorship” with his wife Imelda, but about a system of elite democracy that was even then falling apart at the seams.

The ruling classes and their foreign backers could no longer resort to mere deception to keep a restive people in check but had to resort more and more to coercive means; until the trappings of liberal democratic rule itself - a functioning legislature, an independent judiciary and a free press - had to be set aside with the declaration of one-man rule.

The reactions to the Lumbera incident, or lack of these, from those aspiring to lead our country and promising lofty political and social reforms once in power, are a useful, if revealing, gauge of what importance they give to the protection and promotion of human rights.

Sec. Teodoro's statement not surprisingly echoes previous Malacañang and AFP-DND denials of a state policy in effect. Senator Chiz Escudero, chair of the Senate Human Rights Committee, rejected the “lame explanation” of the Navy and said this incident “should not be swept under the rug”. But the silence of other candidates, including those who parade themselves as champions of democracy and human rights, certainly says a lot about how high - or low - human rights and the rule of law are on their list of priorities.

How many more are under covert surveillance and in the AFP's “Order of Battle”? How many more killings, disappearances, illegal arrests, detention and torture will take place? What reason or assurance do we have to believe that all these will end, even assuming a change of administration, in 2010?

It will be up to a more politically aware electorate to demand from the presidential candidates their stand on human rights and whether and how they will put a stop to the impunity enjoyed by the masterminds and perpetrators of human rights violations in this country. #

 

     

 

22 September 2009
NEWS RELEASE

Reference:
Vijae Alquisola
National President
0916-2034402

A day after the commemoration of the 37th year of Martial Law
CEGP alarmed over military harassment of progressive artists

“Yesterday, we had just commemorated the 37th year of Martial Law in the Philippines, vowing to never again let its terror rule our lives, when we find ourselves in its claws once again, with the oppression experienced by progressive artists such as National Artist Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera and novelist Jun Cruz Reyes,” College Editors Guild of the Philippines National President Vijae Alquisola said in a press conference in Quezon City today.

According to Alquisola, the military harassment and surveillance experienced by progressive artists is alarming. “It is martial rule all over again without, of course, the official declaration. Artists are being repressed; they are being prevented from practicing their craft. Which is very alarming, especially for Drs. Lumbera and Reyes’ cases. They write about current Philippine social realities; in fact, their works are often used inside the academe. If such artists are being repressed, what does it say about the current government?”

Alquisola opines that such reflects the deplorable state of student journalists. “If acclaimed artists and writers are being treated like criminals, what more the campus journalists? Campus press freedom violations continue. Student publications such as The Catalyst (Polytechnic University of the Philippines- Main), UPLB Perspective (UP Los Baños) and Wesneco Torch (West Negros University) continue to suffer from administrative intervention, hampering their ability to publish news the students need to know.”

“Student journalists must unite with artists in upholding our freedom of expression. Let us show this farcical ‘democratic’ government that we value our democratic rights,” Alquisola concludes. ###

--
"To write is already to choose."

           

 

PRESS RELEASE
24 September 2009
For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Francis Uyanguren (Public Information Officer) 0915-9329407

MAZA HITS MILITARY HARASSMENT AGAINST ARTISTS AND ACADEMICIANS

“The repressive arm of the Arroyo administration seems to expand its targets of surveillance not only to organizers and leaders of partylist groups, church people, and journalists but now it also includes artists and members of the academe.”

This is the statement of Rep. Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Party today as another case of military harassment has been confirmed by writer and University of the Philippines professor Jun Cruz Reyes after National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera exposed the same harassment earlier.

“What warrants the brazenness of the military in conducting these activities? Maza said.

“The government agents are apparently attacking and violating the constitutional rights of Reyes and Lumbrera and we cannot allow them to continue this harassment,” Maza said.

Maza stressed that the military should stop conducting all these military surveillance and should respect the rights of civilians. ###

--
Gabriela Women's Party National Headquarters
118 Scout Rallos, Brgy. Sacred Heart,
Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9295342
Email: gabrielawomensparty@gmail.com
Website: www.gabrielawomensparty.net

Office of Gabriela Rep. Liza Largoza Maza
Rm 309 South Wing Bldg.,
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9316268
Email: lizalmaza@yahoo.com

Office of Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan
Rm. 601 South Wing Bldg.
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9315586
E-mail: repluzilagan@gmail.com

 

IDs of spies
     
Statements of Dr. Jun Cruz Reyes
           

BONUS TRACKS

European court to decide on 30 Sept Sison case vs Council of EU on terrorist blacklist

           

International Committee DEFEND
International Committee to DEFEND Filipino Progressives in Europe

Press Release
23 September 2009

EUROPEAN COURT TO DECIDE ON 30 SEPTEMBER
SISON CASE VS COUNCIL OF EU ON TERRORIST BLACKLIST

The European Court of First Instance (ECFI) will issue in Luxembourg on 30 September its judgment on Case T-341/07 of Prof. Jose Maria Sison versus the Council of the European Union (EU), in which he complains against the maintenance of his name in the EU terrorist blacklist and demands the removal of his name from said list.

The crucial point against the Council of the European Union is that it has unjustly maintained Prof. Sison in the so-called terrorist blacklist without any concrete evidence against him for any specific act of terrorism.
Previously, the European court issued a court judgment on 11 July 2007 in favor of Prof. Sison, ordering the Council of the EU to annul its decision to blacklist Prof. Sison and declaring the Council as having infringed Prof. Sison's rights of defense, the obligation to state reasons and the right to effective judicial protection.

But before the issuance of the court judgment, the Council of the EU put again the name of Prof. Sison in its blacklist on 28 June 2007, thus prompting him to file a new complaint before the European Court to demand his removal from the so-called terrorist blacklist on the ground that the Council has infringed the following: 1) the obligation to state reasons and make a truthful assessment, 2) Article 2 (3) of Regulation No. 2580/2001 and Article 1 (4) of Common Position 2001/931, 3) the principle of proportionality and 4) the general principles of Community law and fundamental rights.

The International DEFEND Committee is confident that Prof. Sison will win his case again because of the previous judgment of the ECFI in favor of Prof. Sison in 2007 and the dropping of the false charges of murder against him in The Netherlands last 31 March 2009. The Dutch prosecution service failed to establish any criminal offense of Prof. Sison.

Nicholas James Forwood is the presiding judge of the court in Case T-341/07 of Prof. Jose Maria Sison versus the Council of the EU. According to E. Coulon, the registrar of the court, the ECFI judgment shall be read at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 in one of the ECFI courtrooms at Kirchberg, Luxembourg, Rue du Fort Niedergrunewald L-2925.

Prof. Sison is represented by Jan Fermon as lead lawyer, the German lawyers Eberhard Schultz and Wolfgang Kaleck, the Filipino lawyer Romeo T. Capulong, the French lawyer Antoine Comte and Dutch lawyer Dundar Gurses. The International DEFEND Committee provides moral and material support to Prof. Jose Maria Sison.

Journalists are advised to seek entry to the courtroom at the reception desk of the ECFI 15 minutes before the session. They can interview briefly Prof. Jose Maria Sison and his lead counsel, Jan Fermon, outside of the courtroom immediately after the issuance of the decision.

For the benefit of more journalists, there shall be a press conference of Prof. Sison and his counsel Jan Fermon at 10:30 a.m. on 1 October 2009 at the NDF International Office, Amsterdamsestraatweg 50,3513 AG Utrecht, The Netherlands. The press conference shall be hooked up by skype to Manila where Atty. Romeo T. Capulong will field further questions from the Philippine mass media.

Journalists are invited by the International DEFEND Committee to attend the verdict session on 30 September and the press conference on 1 October. They are also requested to respond to Ms. Ruth de Leon, international coordinator of International DEFEND Committee. Her phone number is 030-2310431 and her email is defenddemrights@yahoo.com

The International DEFEND Committee provides moral and material support to Prof. Jose Maria Sison.###


 


Background Information
In the final oral hearing of the Sison complaint against the EU terrorist blacklist last 30 April 2009, the presiding judge took special note of the fact that Prof. Sison had never been prosecuted in The Netherlands for any specific act of terrorism. The lawyer of the Dutch government as intervener in the case also admitted that the previous dropping of the murder charges against him by the Dutch prosecution was a new element to be taken into account.

The false charges of inciting the killing of Philippine military agents was terminated by the Dutch prosecution service last 31 March 2009 due to lack of evidence, as had been ruled previously in judgments of Dutch judicial authorities (district court of The Hague, appellate court and the examining judge).

The aforesaid termination of prosecution is relevant to the case before the European court. It shows the lack of concrete evidence for the allegation that Prof. Sison is Armando Liwanag or chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as well as for the allegation that he is culpable for any violent act of the New People's Army, despite the close collaboration of Dutch and Philippine political authorities for several years in trying to criminalize him.

The Council has continuously failed to cite any decision of any competent national judicial authority to prove Prof. Sison's involvement in any specific act of terrorism. In desperation, the Council has misrepresented as decisions on Prof. Sison's culpability for terrorism Dutch court decisions on his application for political asylum in the 1990s and the recent Dutch court decisions on the false charges of inciting murder.

In fact, the Dutch Council of State in 1992 and 1995 and the Dutch Law Uniformity Chamber in 1997 ruled that Prof. Sison is a political refugee under Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention because he has no criminal liability as to disqualify him from being recognized as such. The District Court of The Hague and the Appellate Court in 2007 ruled that there is no sufficient evidence against him for the incitation of murder. The passing statement that there are indications or clues that he plays a prominent role in the CPP does not mean culpability for any criminal act of terrorism.
Jan Fermon, lead counsel of Prof. Sison, sharply criticized the Council of the EU and the Dutch government for misrepresenting judgments of the District Court of the Hague on 13 September 2007 and the Dutch Appeal Court on 3 October 2007 on false murder charges against Prof. Sison as judgments condemning him for terrorism. In fact the court decisions released Prof. Sison from detention on the ground of insufficent evidence for the charges of inciting murder.

The so-called terrorist blacklisting of the CPP and NPA by the US, EU and other foreign governments is completely anomalous because under Philippine law the CPP is already legal by virtue of the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law in 1992 and because under Philippine law the acts of revolutionary armed struggle by the NPA against military targets are deemed as acts of rebellion and under international laws of war as acts of belligerency in a civil war.


On the basis of the Marty report and recommendations, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has condemned EU blacklisting procedures as violative of human rights. Legal experts and human rights organizations have cited the case of Prof. Sison to express outrage over the violation of his fundamental rights.

Since being blacklisted as terrorist by the US, Dutch and other governments in August 2002, Prof. Sison has been actually subjected to punitive measures for more than seven years under the pretext of temporary administrative restrictive measures. Civil death is imposed on him as he is prohibited from having legal residence, earning an income, receiving a living allowance, holding a house, having sufficient insurance coverage, receiving old age pension and travelling freely.

By being merely blacklisted as a “terrorist”, Prof. Sison has suffered a fate worse than that of a criminal convicted for murder or even the prime suspects in 9-11 who are assured of their essential needs by UN Security Council resolution 1452. Until now, the Dutch Finance Minister prohibits Prof. Sison from having financial transaction of any kind and from receiving any social payment for his essential human needs. Friends are outraged by the inhumanity of the EU and the Dutch government and lend Prof. Sison the resources for his subsistence and legal expenses.###

Email: defenddemrights@yahoo.com

Website: www.defendsison.be

Telephone: 00-31-30-8895306 Fax: 00-31-847589930

Address: Amsterdamsestraatweg 50, 3513 AG Utrecht, The Netherlands

 

           
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