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New Yorkers join international day of action to defend Joma Sison
Call Dutch Gov't to Grant Permanent Resident Status to Long-Time Refugee

 

New York City

 

March 26, 2010

 

 

   
   
   
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Photos courtesy of BAYAN USA
           
           

 

News Release
March 31, 2010
Reference: New York DEFEND, email: ny@bayanusa.org

NEW YORKERS JOIN INT'L DAY OF ACTION TO DEFEND JOMA SISON
Call Dutch Gov't to Grant Permanent Resident Status to Long-Time Refugee

NEW YORK-- Supporters for Professor Jose Maria Sison rallied in front of the Dutch Consulate in Manhattan as part of a global day of action for demanding the Dutch government grant the long-time political refugee permanent residency status. Sison, chairperson of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS), has been in exile and living in Utrecht, Netherlands since 1987.

Last year, a European Court ruling cleared Sison of criminal charges against him and ordered the European Union to officially strike Sison's name from its foreign terrorist list. The said decision makes Sison eligible to finally apply for permanent residency in the Netherlands. Sison's previous listing on the EU terrorist list after September 11, 2001, led to a freezing of his social benefits and assets, including the right to hold a job.

Supporters rallying in front of the Dutch Consulate, located near Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, included BAYAN USA, ILPS, and solidarity allies from the Independent Workers Movement, International Action Center, and Revolution Books.

"The people's victory of the EU delisting of Professor Sison from its terrorist list is not complete without the full restoration of his social benefits as a recognized political refugee," stated Bernadette Ellorin of BAYAN USA. "As a peace activist, Sison's work as a consultant for the peace negotiations between the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front teaches us that peace is not merely the absence of war or a laying down of arms. Peace can only be achieved when the majority of the Filipino people can eat, can find jobs, and can live without having to migrate abroad. Those are the only rightful conditions for a just and lasting peace, and that is why Jose Maria Sison has rightfully garnered the respect and admiration of admirers all over the world."

Rallyists also promoted an international petition being circulated calling for permanent residency status for Sison. ###

 

           
     
     
     

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PAMPHLET
Grant Permanent Residence to Prof. Sison!


Prof. Jose Maria Sison was born on 8 February 1939 in the Philippines
He has been living for more than 23 years in Utrecht, The Netherlands. First as Utrecht University
research consultant since 1987, and then as a political refugee since 1988.
Yet, he is not allowed:

  1. to have permanent residence

  2. to have a living allowance or to have a job

  3. to have housing under his name

  4. to have regular health insurance as refugee

  5. to have social insurance and old age pension

  6. to travel freely outside of the country, particularly in Europe

Let Prof. Sison live a normal life!
Grant permanent residence!
Let him have basic human rights!
Grant permanent residence to Prof. Jose Maria Sison!

 

 

 

Joma Sison is a recognized political refugee under the Geneva Refugee Convention,
specifically under its Article 1A.

He has lawfully and peacefully lived in The Netherlands for more than 23 years.

He has never committed any criminal act against the public order and national security of
the Dutch state or any other European state. The European Court of Justice has ruled that
he is not a terrorist and has removed him from the blacklist of the European Union.

Because of his staunch opposition to the Philippine government, his passport was
cancelled while visiting the Netherlands in 1988. Since then, he has been requesting the
Netherlands to grant him asylum and a residence permit.

Just like other long-time residents of the Netherlands, he should be granted a residence
permit. He must be granted his basic rights and fundamental freedoms. He must be
allowed to practice his profession as a political science teacher. He must be allowed to
contribute his best in the peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of
the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

Please help us by contributing your voice, donating money or volunteering your
time. You can:,br>

  1. Sign the petition appealing to the Dutch government to grant Prof. Jose Maria
    Sison a residence permit. Visit
    http://www.petitiononline.com/JSdefens/petition.html

  2. Donate to the International Committee Defend to pay for the legal expenses,
    administrative costs and the holding of various public meetings. You can
    send your donations to:
    St. Rec. Oud Kath Kerk Ned
    Account number: 404573932
    IBAN NL35ABNA0404573932
    BIC ABNANL2A

  3. Volunteer time to the International Committee Defend, to gather signatures,
    collect donations, build up contacts and networks, and the like.

You can contact International Committee Defend at:
defenddemrights@yahoo.com

 

     
     
     
     
           
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PETITION FOR GRANT OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE
TO PROFESSOR JOSE MARIA SISON


We, the undersigned, hereby petition the Dutch government , especially the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice, to grant the permanent residence status to Prof. Jose Maria Sison. It is a matter of justice that he be granted the residence permit in view of the following:

  1. Prof. Sison has lived continuously for 23 years in the Netherlands lawfully and peacefully since 1987.

  2. He is a political refugee as defined by article 1A of the Geneva convention. He was recognized as such by the Raad van State in 1992 and again in 1995, by the Dutch government in 1996 and by Rechtséénheidkamer in 1997.

  3. It is established by the judgment of the European Court on 30 September 2009 that he has not been investigated, prosecuted or convicted for any act of terrorism and that the aforementioned Dutch court decisions cannot be used to hold him liable for such.

  4. In view of the foregoing No. 3, the Dutch Ministry of Justice must grant permanent residence to Prof. Sison on the basis of its own admission on 14 May 2009 that Prof. Sison meets the criteria for amnesty/pardonregeling.

  5. By virtue of the directive issued on April 2004 by the European Union (EU) Council, Prof. Sison should be granted permanent residence because a) he does not pose a danger to the security of a Member State, b) he has not been convicted of a serious crime, and c) he does not constitute a danger to the community of that Member State.

For more than two decades, Prof. Sison has suffered from false accusations, unjust persecution and inhumane treatment for his political beliefs and opinions. It is a matter of justice that he must be allowed to normalize his life and to enjoy and exercise his basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.

He must be allowed to practise his profession as a teacher of political science and contribute his best as chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

Signed by:

Name     Organization/Institution     Street     Address/Country     Email

Click here to sign the petition online.

     
     
           
     
     
     

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Statement on the international day of protest against the US occupation of Iraq

March 20th, 2010

 

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) joins the people of the world in commemorating the seventh anniversary of the United States-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. We join the thousands protesting worldwide in calling for an end to the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Despite being more than in year in office, the Obama administration has not shown any substantial departure from the imperialist agenda that was laid down by George W. Bush when he led the invasion and occupation of Iraq. There are indications that despite Obama’s pledge to end US combat operations in Iraq, the US forces intend to stay, set up bases and continue their direct and indirect control of the Iraqi puppet government.

 

Despite the debilitating financial and economic crisis that has hit the US economy, the Obama administration has allotted some $708.2 billion for war spending.

 

The Obama has administration has also advanced the same imperialist agenda in other parts of the world such as Afghanistan. The US government has sent 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and

has escalated cross-border attacks in neighboring Pakistan.

 

More than a year into the Obama administration, the people of the world have yet to see the changes in America’s foreign policy. The developments in Iraq and Afghanistan do not show the “change” that was promised in 2008. What we see are more of the same imperialists wars of aggression.

 

Meanwhile, Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has shown unabashed puppetry to the US by supporting the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, sending troops to Iraq, and allowing US combat troops to be based in the Philippines. At the tail-end of her term, Arroyo secretly hopes for the backing of the US government for her bid to prolong her stay in power.

US intervention in the Philippines

 

In the Philippines, the US government has reinforced its permanent and continuing military presence by indefinitely station 600 Special Forces troops under the US Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines (JSOTFP) based in Zamboanga. Using the vague and unconstitutional provisions of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), US troops enter and leave the Philippines on a rotational but continuing basis. Their presence in Mindanao has become permanent since 2002.

 

At any given time, there are US troops stationed in the country. Their activities in the country remain questionable and there have been many allegations that they are engaged in actual combat operations. Previous US commanders have admitted that they are indeed engaged in combat but disguised as military exercises. These acts all violate Philippine sovereignty and the Constitution. The Philippines is the only other active combat area in the ‘war on terror’, after Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

The annual Balikatan war games was recently held for the first time in the Ilocos region, which is the northern part of the Philippines. The US said it will conduct humanitarian missions in the area. We believe that the so called humanitarian exercises in Ilocos is part of the US power projection against China. This type of military buildup can be expected to escalate as it did in Mindanao where humanitarian missions were also used as a pretext for permanent US positioning.

 

Obama continues to give importance to the lame-duck president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the hopes of securing more concessions from the Philippine government. In a span of six months in 2009, the Philippines was visited by the US Defense Secretary , the CIA director, and the US Secretary of State. The unusual flurry of visits came just a year before Arroyo’s term was to end on June 30, 2010. Military aid to the Philippines has also increased this year, despite continuing allegations of human rights abuses under the Arroyo government.

 

Problems with the VFA

 

Even if the Philippine Supreme Court has ruled with finality on the legality of the VFA, the controversies surrounding this agreement will not simply go away. So long as US troops remain permanently stationed in the country and so long as they engage in various questionable activities that violate our Constitution, there will always be legal challenges to the VFA.

 

The mysterious death of Gregan Cardeno is another case in point. Cardeno was an interpreter hired by the private military contractor Dyn Corporation which builds US military facilities in the Philippines. He was deployed last February 1 by Dyn to a Philippine military camp in Marawi which was hosting US troops. He was found dead inside the military camp on February 3, two days after he arrived in Marawi.

 

Cardeno’s death was ruled a suicide, but his injuries are not consistent with this finding. There were also indications of an attempt to cover up the cause of death and tamper with evidence. Before he died, Cardeno communicated to his wife that what he got into with the US troops was not what he signed up for.

 

What was really Cardeno’s job then? What was the nature of the engagement of Dyn Corporation and the US forces? What was the real cause of death and why were there indications of a cover up? Why are US forces now operating in Marawi, unknown to most.

 

End US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, End US military intervention in the Philippines

It is necessary for the people of the world to expose the continuing imperialist agenda of the US under the Obama administration. The US must pull out immediately from Iraq and Afghanistan. It must devote its resources to addressing the urgent needs of the people of its own country. The US must also end all forms of military intervention in the Philippines.  It must pull out its permanently stationed troops in Mindanao and other parts of the country where they are possibly operating.

 

The Filipino people will continue to assert their sovereignty against foreign military intervention. We will also continue to express our solidarity with the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who are struggling to end foreign occupation in their lands.

     
     
           
     
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