CONTINUE THE STRUGGLE FOR THE RIGHTS,
RESIDENCE AND BENEFITS OF PROF. SISON
By virtue of its 30 September 2009 judgment, the European Court has
removed the name of Prof. Jose Maria Sison from the terrorist blacklist
and has unfrozen his small bank account. The judgment has become final and
executory since 10 December 2009.
It is a brilliant landmark decision which upholds fundamental human and
democratic rights and protects everyone in Europe from being arbitrarily
blacklisted as a terrorist and made to suffer stigmatization and severe
sanctions like Prof. Sison, without being properly investigated,
prosecuted or convicted for any specific act of terrorism.
But the legal and political struggle for the fundamental rights,
normalized residence and social benefits of Prof. Sison continues. It
remains to be seen how the European Court will decide his moral and
material compensation claims against the Council of the European Union. It
also remains to be seen how the Dutch government will rectify and make
amends for the wrongs and injustice that it has done to Prof. Sison.
From 22 October 2002 onwards, the Dutch government used the EU terrorist
blacklist against Prof. Sison in order to terminate his social benefits,
deny his application for residence permit and work permit and violate his
fundamental rights under the pretext of temporarily restricting them.
But by current indications, based on the answers of Dutch ministers last
10 December 2009 to parliamentary questions, the Dutch government intends
to continue the unjust and severe sanctions against Prof. Sison and make
empty and useless the 30 September judgment of the European Court.
The Dutch government insists that Prof. Sison is merely a tolerated alien
who has the obligation to leave The Netherlands and is not entitled to a
residence permit, social benefits and respect for his fundamental rights
under European and other international conventions.
At this point, it is necessary and appropriate to expose the fact that
based on official pronouncements and publications, the Dutch government
has openly collaborated with the US and Philippine governments in using
lies and false charges for a long period of time in order to oppress Prof.
The Dutch government has used the lies and false charges, supplied mainly
by the Philippine government, to deny him legal admission as refugee (1988
to 2007) and his application for work permit (1998) and residence (1998,
2003 and 2008), to put him on the terrorist blacklist (2002), to terminate
his social benefits (2002 onwards) and to arrest and detain him (2007).
All the lies and false charges used to oppose Prof. Sison's application
for asylum were carried in intelligence dossiers but publicized in the
mass media. They were used by the Dutch government to counter the clear
merits of Prof. Sison's application, the endorsements of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees and Amnesty International and the 1992 and 1995
judgments of the Raad van State recognizing Prof. Sison as a political
refugee under Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention and as one protected
by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Dutch government made him liable even for incidents while he was in
solitary confinement and under torture by the Marcos fascist dictatorship
(1977 to 1986) or while he was preoccupied with his lectures abroad (1986
onwards). The subversion charge filed in 1988 was the only charge that
reached a Philippine court and was dismissed by the court upon the repeal
of the Anti-Subversion Law in 1992. The charge of multiple murder arising
from the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing was filed in 1991 and was dismissed by
the Manila prosecutors in 1994. Ultimately, the Philippine secretary of
justice issued in 1998 a certification that there was no pending criminal
charge against Prof. Sison.
But the Dutch government stubbornly used the Dutch intelligence dossiers
to make the false claim that Prof. Sison had criminal contacts with
terrorist organizations and was a liability to the integrity and
credibility of the Dutch state to its allies, especially the U.S. To this
day, the Dutch government adheres to such unproven claims of the Dutch
intelligence and yet admits that Prof. Sison has never been investigated
for any specific act of terrorism.
Prof. Sison applied for residence and work permit as consultant of the
Stichting NDF International Office in 1998. But the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (IND) refused to grant the permit and went so far
as to argue before the Rotterdam district court in November 2002 that
Prof. Sison was a terrorist in addition to not having priorly gotten a
Prof. Sison applied for residence (regulier) in The Netherlands in early
2003 on the ground that he is a recognized political refugee under Article
1 A of the Refugee Convention and has actually lived in The Netherlands
for sixteen (16) years since 1987. The IND refused to give any explanation
for refusing to grant the residence permit until early 2009 when it
declared that Prof. Sison, despite threats to his life and travel
restrictions on him, should have applied first for a temporary residence
permit from a Dutch consular office near the Philippines.
Prof. Sison availed of the pardonregeling (amnesty regulation) by applying
for amnesty and for the grant of residence permit in 2008. The IND made a
negative decision in early 2003 by claiming that he is excluded by the
national security provision of the pardonregeling. Legal experts point out
that said provision excludes only those who have committed a specific act
of terrorism against the Dutch state and that Prof. Sison has never been
investigated, prosecuted nor convicted for such. The two residence cases (regulier
and pardonregeling) are now pending before the district court of Zutphen.
It is of recent public knowledge how lies and false charges of murder
(despite earlier dismissal of these by the Philippine Supreme Court) have
been used by the Dutch government to arrest and detain Prof. Sison in 2007
and have been dismissed by the Dutch courts and the examining judge for
lack of evidence to try and detain him further.
Most emphatically, the European Court has in effect exposed the lies and
false tag of terrorism on Prof. Sison and the brazen injustice of such
labeling, the sanctions and violations of rights at the expense of Prof.
Sison and the entire cause of human rights and rule of law.
Based on the entire foregoing account, the Dutch government has maintained
an unjust policy of preventing Prof. Sison from being legally admitted as
refugee, from getting the residence permit on any ground, from getting
remunerated work or receiving social benefits and from enjoying fully his
fundamental rights. The unjust policy is based clearly on lies and false
charges which are deemed valid by the Dutch government even when these are
already proven to be untrue.
The International DEFEND Committee appeals to all people, organizations
and institutions interested in upholding justice, human rights and rule of
To demand that the Dutch government
end its policy of oppressing Prof. Jose Maria Sison, respect his rights
and start rectifying the wrongs done to him by expediting the grant of
residence permit to him;
To encourage a broad coalition of
parliamentarians and respected institutions, organizations and
personages to press for the foregoing demand:
To engage in a campaign of
information, education and other activities for upholding justice, human
rights and the rule of law by using the case of Prof. Sison as an
To hold forums and mass meetings
and issue publications for the foregoing purposes.
It is a big shame that the Dutch
government has closely collaborated with the U.S. and Philippine
governments in using lies and false charges against Prof. Sison. This is
the same method that has been used to justify extrajudicial killings,
torture, abductions and other forms of gross and systematic human rights
violations in the Philippines committed under the pretext of combating
In making amends for the wrongs done to Prof. Sison, the Dutch government
can disassociate itself from the lies and false charges supplied to it by
the Philippine government , demonstrate respect for human rights and end
the policy of oppressing Prof. Jose Maria Sison. It must face up to the
fact that it has collaborated with the US and Philippine governments in
trying to suppress the fundamental rights of Prof. Sison to hold and
express his opinion and ideas and to travel freely.
It is best for the Dutch government to encourage both the Philippine
government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)
to move forward in their peace negotiations and agree on basic social,
economic and political reforms to lay the basis for a just and lasting
peace in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992.
In such spirit, it is better for the Dutch government to respect the
fundamental rights of the NDFP panelists, consultants and staffers and let
them work freely and effectively for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations than
to harass, intimidate and stigmatize them as terrorists in what has been
widely perceived as an attempt to blackmail and pressure the NDFP towards
capitulation to the GRP.
International DEFEND Committee
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
Yet, he is not allowed:
to have permanent residence
to have a living allowance or to
have a job
to have housing under his name
to have regular health insurance as
to have social insurance and old
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
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
Because of his staunch opposition to the Philippine government, his
cancelled while visiting the Netherlands in 1988. Since then, he has been
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
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
time. You can:,br>
Sign the petition appealing to the
Dutch government to grant Prof. Jose Maria
Sison a residence permit. Visit
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
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: