Human Rights in the Philippines: ADELISA

ADELISA by Kiri Dalena is one of an series of short Public Service Announcements on the human rights situation in the Philippines produced by progressive film artists in that country. Click menu for other films such as The Disappeared, Where is Jonas?, Ignorante and LOST AND FOUND. These films were screened in Montreal along with a sneak preview of a new short film by Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy, Philippines: War on the people, on December 10, 2007. Forty-five people attended the event held at the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre to mark International Human Rights Day.


Lancement du film le 10 décembre - Journée internationale des droits de l'home

Un nouveau court-métrage documentaire sur les assassinats politiques aux Philippines sera lancé le 10 décembre pour marquer la Journée internationale des droits de la personne. Le documentaire, Philippines, War on the people, de Marie Boti et Malcolm Guy vient dans la foulé de la campagne international pour dénoncer la vague d'assassinats et d'enlèvements politiques qui se deferle sur l'archipel philippin depuis l'arrivée au pouvoir de la Présidente Gloria Macapagal Arroyo en 2001. Le film suit l'histoire de Dr. Chandu Claver, un dirigeant autochtone qui a été victime d'une attaque par les militaires, attaque qui a pris la vie de son épouse Alice en 2006. Le docteur Claver a fait partie d' une délégation philippine qui a visité le Canada au printemps 2007.

Le couple Boti et Guy sont rentré à Montréal la semaine dernière suivant un séjour de recherche aux Philippines ou ils travaillent sur un nouveau documentaire. Ils discuteront de la conjoncture actuelle dans ce pays du sud-est asiatique ou la crise politique s'aiguise et le gouvernement est plus isolé que jamais.

Date et heure: Lundi le 10 décembre de 17h à 19h
Lieu: Centre Simon Bolivar, 394 de Maisonneuve ouest (Métro Place des Arts)


Film launch December 10 - Human Rights Day

A new short film by Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy, Philippines: War on the people will be launched December 10, 2007 in Montreal to mark International Human Rights Day. The film looks at the international campaign, including a 2007 tour in Canada, to oppose the wave of politically-motivated killings and abductions in the Philippines since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo came to power in 2001. Featured in the film are indigenous leader Dr. Chandu Claver, whose wife Alice was gunned down in 2006, and the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal Second Session on the Philippines held in The Hague, Netherlands earlier this year.

CAP-CPC members Boti and Guy, just returned from a one-month research trip to the Philippines, will discuss the making of their film and the present situation in this South East Asian nation, where young military officers are rebelling, massive displacements of populations continue, and the Arroyo regime is more isolated than ever.

The event will be held Monday, December 10 between 5 and 7 pm at the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre, 394 de Maisonneuve West (Metro Place-des-Arts).

*Photos courtesy of Arkibongbayan


Photos - Public Forum on Nepal and Philippines

The March 8th Coordination and Action Committee of Women of Diverse Origins in Montreal held a sucessful public forum on the Philippines and Nepal on November 11, 2007 at the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre. Speakers included Sarwat Viqar of the Centre for Philippine Concerns, Sharhzad Arshadi from the Iranian Women's Association of Montreal, and Evelyn Calugay and Thelma Castro from PINAY, a Filipino women's group in Montreal.

To view more photos of this event, please click onto our CAP-CPC Flickr account.


Public Forum on women in Philippines and Nepal

CAP-CPC member, Sarwat Viqar, will join a panel of speakers that will report back on the Women's International Solidarity Affair in the Philippines (WISAP) hosted every 2 years by Gabriela - a national alliance of militant Philippine women's organizations. The event is organized by the March 8th Coordination and Action Committee of Women of Diverse Origins and will also feature another speaker on the situation in Nepal.

The activity will take place on Sunday, November 11 at 2pm at the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre on 394 de Maisonneuve (metro Place-des-Arts).

The CAP-CPC Women's committee is an active member of the March 8th Coordination and Action Committee in Montreal.


« Le comité d'action et de coordination des femmes
de diverses origines pour le 8 mars» présente

Les Philippines et le Népal: deux expériences

1- Sarwat Viqar, une participante à la conférence internationale des femmes aux Philippines en août 2007 (le WISAP) partagera son expérience.

2- Une photographe montréalaise fera un rapport de son voyage au Népal avec projection de photos

Date: 11 novembre 2007 à 14h00
Lieu: Centre Culturel Simon Bolivar, 394 de Maisonneuve (à l'ouest du métro Place-des-Arts)



On Monday, October 22, 2007, The Centre for Philippine Concerns came out to support
the protest action outside the office of the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological
Diversity in Montreal. The Centre for Philippine Concerns, a member of the International
League of People's Struggles, opposes the New Zealand government's suppression of the
Moari and environmental activists and the "terrorist" labeling of these same acttivists.
These are the same tactics used by the Philippines in the suppression of Filipino activists.
Attached is the press statement of the Maori Solidarity Committee in Montreal.

Press Release

Protest New Zealand's bid for UN Human Rights Council

Montreal. Last week in Aotearoa /New Zealand, Maori sovereignty
campaigners, environmental, peace and social justice activists, were
targeted in military-style raids under the post 9/11 Terrorism Suppression
Act, and are being painted in the media as terrorists. Police raided
homes, confiscated possessions and imprisoned at least seventeen mainly
Maori activists in a military-style operation. Amongst those arrested was
prominent Maori activist and community worker Tame Iti, who has been
denied bail along with eleven others.

"We are not terrorists - we've been terrorised" read banners on a 1500
strong demonstration on Friday in the small town of Whakatane, in
solidarity with the arrestees.

Protests this week continue across Aotearoa/New Zealand. In the USA,
Australia, Germany, Greece, and South Africa, people are denouncing New
Zealand's targeting of Indigenous sovereignty campaigners – and making
links between last week's raids, and an international trend of labeling
legitimate political dissent "terrorist".

On Monday, October 22, 2007 at 13h, we are protesting last week's raids,
and drawing attention to Canada and Aotearoa/New Zealand's hypocracy with
respect to the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Last month, New Zealand and Canada were among only 4 governments to vote
against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. On 13
September 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) with 143 member states voting in
favor, eleven abstaining, and Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US
voting against the Declaration. New Zealand is now waging a militarized
campaign against Maori sovereignty, environmental and social justice
activists. Shamelessly, New Zealand announced its candidacy for the UN
Human Rights Council for the period 2009-2012 this past Friday.

Maori advocacy for self-determination was portrayed a domestic "terrorist"
threat in Aotearoa long before 9/11 and long after colonization of the
nineteenth century.

We stand in solidarity with those in Aotearoa/New Zealand, like here in
Canada, who continue to be terrorized and persecuted by legislation that
criminalizes dissent, particularly those most affected – Indigenous
Peoples and immigrants of colour.

New Zealand repression echos events here in Canada

New Zealand police raids echo the treatment of Indigenous activists in
Canada. Similarly, so-called anti-terror laws are used to label dissent –
especially the dissent of Indigenous peoples – as criminal and terrorist.
Internationally, Canada and New Zealand have consistently attempted to
block the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

This summer, Tyendinaga Mohawk activist Shawn Brant was arrested after
blockades of rail lines and highways on Tyendinaga land. A leader in his
community's struggle, he has been portrayed as a criminal and terrorist.
Like Tame Iti, Shawn was jailed in July 2007, and was denied bail until
the end of August.

Communities in the Mohawk territories of Kahnawake, Akwesasne, and
Kanehsatake are all too familiar with racist government repression and
attacks. In Kahnawake in 1990 and in Kanehsatake in 1994 the Canadian
government used the military to attack and repress Mohawk people. In 2006,
we saw heavy police repression in Six Nations when Indigenous activists
reclaimed their land. This summer's police crackdown after the June 29th
days of action are proof that colonialism is alive and well in Canada in
the 21st century.

Repression hidden beneath laws to supposedly fight 'terror' has become all
too familiar.


We call on people to expose and oppose the New Zealand government's
repressive actions. We strongly oppose New Zealand's bid for a place on
the UN Human Rights Council for its clear suppression of the legitimate00
right to dissent, and for the ongoing violent repression of the Maori
people. We demand in that New Zealand government release those arrested
and apologize to the Tuhoe.

WHEN: Monday, October 22, 13h
WHERE: Outside the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological
Diversity, 413, Saint Jacques Street, Montreal
CONTACT: Maori Solidarity Committee 514-839-4661

Arnel Salvador of WAC wraps up Montreal tour

Montreal was Arnel Salvador's last leg in his three-city tour of eastern Canada, including Toronto and Ottawa. In Montreal his week of activities was hosted by the Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC). Arnel Salvador is the executive deputy director of the Workers Assistance Centre (WAC) based in Cavite, Philippines. He was invited to Canada by KAIROS (a church-based social justice movement). The Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (Ottawa) and the Philippine Network for Justice and Peace (Toronto) also played an active role in his trip.

Arnel met with several union federations in Quebec including representatives from the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN) and the Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ). He also met with the Centre international de solidarité ouvrière (CISO- International Centre for Workers' Solidarity) campaign committee on sweatshops. Salvador exposed the situation in the Cavite Export Processing Zone where thousands of workers, mostly women, face the exploitative labour practices of foreign multi-national corporations. One of the most notorious is Wal-Mart, where a strike for the right to unionize at one of its Philippine suppliers, the Chong Won clothing factory, has been violently attacked.

CAP-CPC contacts among college professors were mobilized to help organize talks in schools to inform students about the high cost of low priced goods that corporate giants like Wal-Mart provide. It was an important part of building solidarity with a new generation of young Canadians.

On Saturday, October 20, the Filipino Association of Montreal and Suburbs (FAMAS) co-hosted a community forum with Arnel as the main speaker in the FAMAS Community Centre. Present were representatives from Filipino community organizations like the Federation of Filipino Associations of Quebec, NGO's like Development and Peace and social activists based in Montreal. This event was a first step for future collaboration between the well-established Filipino community organizations, the Centre for Philippine Concerns and other concerned organizations on issues such as the extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations happening in the Philippines.

Arnel is returning to the Philippines satisfied that he has gained concrete support from organizations in Montreal. Many of the people and organizations he had met gave their commitment to continue their links and raise financial support for the WAC, organize a Canadian Labour delegation to the Philippines, and lobby Canadian government to pressure the Arroyo administration to put a stop to the ongoing human rights violations in the Philippines.

Related links:

More photos of Arnel's visit in Montreal

Public Service Alliance of Canada hosts Arnel

Bataille syndicale aux Philippines - article de CISO

Workers Assistance Centre



a public forum on the high cost of low prices

Featured Guest Speaker:

Arnel Salvador -- Deputy Executive Director
Workers Assistance Center, Cavite, Philippines

1 pm - Saturday, October 20, 2007
FAMAS community centre - 4708 Van Horne (Metro Plamondon)

Organized by the Centre for Philippine Concerns
in collaboration with Filipino Association of Montreal and Suburbs (FAMAS)

Mr. Salvador, a long time human and labour rights advocate, will be presenting the situation on the ground in a Cavite export processing/free trade zone and the struggles of the thousands of Filipino workers for their right to organize. Mr. Salvador will also report on the crackdown of management, security, police and military elements on the workers of Chong Won factory (a supplier of Wal-Mart). The repression is happening within the context of the Arroyo regime's unjust war against "those who terrorize foreign industries" operating in the Philippines.

For more information please contact Sid de Guzman of the Centre for Philippine Concerns:

514-735-8012 or email capcpc@web.ca


Jocelyn Dulnuan and the Filipino Community Cannot Rest Until There Is Justice

A prayer for Jocelyn Dulnuan, St. Simon's Anglican Church, Toronto
Toronto, October 13, 2007 -- Jocelyn Dulnuan, 27 years old, of Namulditan, Hingyon, Ifugao, the Philippines was found dead on Oct. 1, 2007 in the house located at 2450 Doulton Place, Mississauga where she worked as a live-in caregiver. Jocelyn had arrived in Canada last November through the Live-in Caregiver Program of the Canadian Government. Peel regional police are investigating her death and treating it as a murder case.

Twelve days have already passed since the discovery of her body. Press reports as of today are conflicting over whether the police have already finished their investigation. The police for its part have been very tight-lipped about the case. We hope this has only been so as not to jeopardise the investigation.

Jocelyn Dulnuan's murder raises important issues of public safety, equality and justice for the Filipino community. Given the recent problems regarding the treatment of Filipinos by certain police departments in certain jurisdictions in Canada, the fear exists in the minds of many in the Filipino community that Dulnuan's murder may not get the serious and prompt treatment it requires. We need to know that the police is taking this case seriously and not doing a slipshod job because Jocelyn is a Filipino, and a migrant worker.

Filipino migrant workers are a significant part of our community of 100 thousand plus in the greater Toronto area and contribute greatly directly to the Canadian economy through their work, the products they buy, and the taxes they pay without availing of Canadian public services. Indirectly as well, the work of Filipino migrant workers enables Canadians themselves to contribute greater to the economy. Filipinos, and especially Filipino migrant workers deserve equal rights, safety and justice.

The proper institution to ensure that justice is pursued and the muderer(s) of Jocelyn punished is the Philippine consulate. It is the role of the Philippine consulate to protect the rights of Filipinos in Toronto and surrounding regions. At the very minimum the Philippine consulate has the duty both to pull every diplomatic lever it can to ensure that justice is thoroughly pursued by the local Canadian authorities while keeping the Filipino community properly informed of its efforts. We note that Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Claro Cristobal said that Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo has instructed Alejandro Mosquera "to provide full cooperation for bringing anyone responsible for the crime to justice...." Given the sorry history with other cases of Filipino migrants that have come to grief and the initial response of the local consulate and labour attaché to our approach for help, we can only hope that these instructions are not mere public relations exercises. If any harm comes to a Filipino abroad, will the consulate just leave that person behind and hush matters?

Jocelyn Dulnuan would be alive now if the Philippine government had been able to provide the employment back home sorely sought after by so many Filipinos rather than relying on sending people abroad for remittances. We hope that Jocelyn is not a sacrifice to this policy of exporting Filipino workers.

The Jocelyn Dulnuan Support Committee is composed the following Migrante-Ontario organizations: Damayan Migrant Resource and Education Centre, Philippine Advocacy Through Arts in Canada (PATAC), SIKLAB-Ontario, Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada-Toronto
(UKPC-TO), and United Filipinos for Nationalism and Democracy (UFiND); the following organizations: Asosacion Negrense, AWARE/Gabay, Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ), Ifugao Association, Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC), Philippine Network for Justice and Peace, and the Santaginian Association of Ontario; Fr. Ariel Dumaran of San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish and members of Jocelyn Dulnuan's extended family and friends.

FOR REFERENCE: Maria Sol Pajadura. Cell: +1 647-448-7030.
Email: siklab_ontario@yahoo.ca


Arnel Salvador in Montreal - Philippine workers against Wal-Mart

Workers on picket line in Cavite Export Processing Zone, Philippines

Nous aimerions vous informer de la visite prochaine à Montréal (du 15-21 octobre, 2007) de Arnel V. Salvador, du Workers Assistance Center de Cavite, Philippines.

Arnel fait une tournée à Toronto et Ottawa actuellement, et viendra à Montréal après. Sa visite fera suite au séjour de son collègue, Renato Pambid, parmi nous plus töt cette année, et sera l'occasion pour nous d'avoir des nouvelles fraiches de la lutte en cours chez Chong Won, un fournisseur de Wal-Mart.
Vous trouverez ci-joint un bref curriculum vitae de Arnel en anglais.

Arnel attend sa visite avec impatience, et il aimerais bien rencontrer des gens et des organismes intéressés par le travail du WAC à Montréal. Son voyage en Ontario et dans l'ouest du Canada est coordonné par Kairos Canada.

Le Comité de solidarité ouvrière du Centre d'appui aux Philippines aidera à coordonner son séjour à Montréal. On serait heureux d'organiser une rencontre/visite avec Arnel pour vous.

Pour rejoindre les membres du Comité de solidarité ouvrière du CAP-CPC: capcpc@web.ca


We would like to inform you of the upcoming visit to Montreal (October 15 - 21, 2007) by Arnel V. Salvador from the Workers Assistance Center in Cavite, Philippines.

Arnel has been visiting in Toronto and Ottawa and is now planning to come to our city. He would like to follow up on the trip to Montreal earlier this year by Renato Pambid of the WAC and bring us up-to-date on the ongoing struggle at the Wal Mart supplier, Chong Won.
You can find his short curriculum vitae below.

Arnel would be pleased to meet with interested parties during his Montreal trip and is very excited about visiting Quebec. His trip to Ontario and to western Canada is being coordinating by Kairos Canada.

In Montreal the Workers' Committee of the Centre d'appui aux Philippines / Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) will be helping to coordinate his trip. They would be pleased to arrange to have you meet with Arnel.

You can contact the members of the Workers' Committee of the CAP-CPC at capcpc@web.ca

Arnel Villorente Salvador - Workers Assistance Center

Arnel V. Salvador is a seasoned but low-profile activist in the Southern Tagalog region south of Manila, capital of Philippines. At present, he is the deputy executive director of the Workers Assistance Center, Inc., or WAC since 1998. As deputy executive director, he is in-charge of the whole organizing program of WAC in Cavite and Batangas provinces.

He was the main researcher in a research-study contracted by WAC in 1996 that established and had become a basic data/information about the real working conditions of the workers employed in the Cavite Export Processing Zone, the biggest government-owned and controlled free trade zone in the Philippines. This research provided WAC, which was still in its formative stage then, a basic tool for its education and information services that led to the formation of several workers unions in different export-oriented economic zones inside the province of Cavite.

Prior to his work at WAC for the labor sector, Salvador was the Regional Coordinator of KAPATID, a human rights organizations composed of friends and relatives of political detainees from 1986-87. He was also the Secretary-General of the Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace in Southern Tagalog (EMJP-ST), a church-backed human rights and peace organization, from 1988 to 1995.

As a labor rights advocate, he had been invited to speak about the Filipino workers conditions in the free trade zones in some events/gatherings abroad. Last year, he went to the USA on three-week speaking tour with a worker to expose the anti-labor character of the Wal-Mart’s codes of conduct and to gather support for the striking workers of a Wal-Mart supplier in Cavite.


CAP-CPC members support blockade against uranium mine at Sharbot Lake

Sarwat Viqar, Kelti Cameron and I visited the site of the blockade at Sharbot Lake in Ontario on the Thanksgiving weekend .

This is a blockade set up by the Shabot obaadjiwan and Ardoch Algonquin First Nations to try to stop a planned uranium mine from being set up there. We spoke to settlers who have formed a support group for the First nations people, and we talked with the chief of the Shabot Obaadjiwan people, Doreen Davis or Eagle Cloud Woman.

There was a court hearing today, Tuesday, October 9, 2007. The Algonquin were asking for mediation but it was refused: the government is only willing to discuss unstaked (i.e. surveyed for mining purposes) land, and already 30,000 acres have been staked. This is unceeded land, in an area which is the watershed for eastern Ontario and western Quebec. The Algonquin are asking for a moratorium on uranium mining, similar to what already exists in Nova Scotia.

They asked us to speak to people in Quebec about this issue.

There are two websites to check out: www.aafna.ca and www.ccamu.ca.
Sarwat and I are available to be interviewed or to speak about our experience more extensively. Contact me by email at capcpc[at]web.ca. Also, the struggle was covered on Ecolibrium on CKUT radio this morning and is available on the archives -- Tuesday Oct. 9, at 11 a.m.

Eileen Young


Jocelyn Dulnuan: Twice a Victim - Migrante Ontario

(Photo taken from related article in the Toronto Star, October 5, 2007:
TORONTO, October 4, 2007 -- Jocelyn Dulnuan, a Filipina housekeeper of a multi-million dollar mansion in Mississauga , was murdered on Tuesday October 1, 2007.

Her sister in law Regina Kinnud said that "the police came to our door andstarted asking questions about Jocelyn. When we asked why, they said that she was dead". Shocked by thenews, Regina said that Jocelyn was "quiet andhappy person".

Jocelyn came to Canada under the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP), a federal government program that allows Filipinas to come as nannies, housekeepersand caregivers. In this program, she was required to live in her employer's residence.

"That is the inherent problem in the LCP program" said Sol Pajadura, coordinator of Migrante-Ontario, an advocacy group that supports caregivers and other migrant Filipinos in Ontario . "Under these conditions, live-in caregivers are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and to something like what happened to Jocelyn," she added.

Regina and the agency that found Jocelyn the current job went to the Philippine consulate to ask for help. A consular official said that they do not have the money and resources to repatriate Jocelyn's remains. Besides, the official also said they could not help bring home Dulnuan's remains because she was an unregistered worker.

"We cannot really expect much from them. Jocelyn was also directly hired by an employer and did not go though an agency, so there is no agency that can help repatriate her remains either. But the Philippine consulate, no matter what, should be looking after its own nationals, especially those that it boasts of as "modern-day heroes," said Ms. Pajadura.

This same view was expressed by an Ifugao email sender who said "Her citizenship and the circumstances (behind) her death, not her status, should be considered by the Philippine Consulate."

Jocelyn came from an indigenous farming community in Ifugao province north of Manila . She went to Hong Kong with her mother to work as a domestic worker. After working there for a year she came to Canada hoping to be able to work and sponsor her husband and 4 year-old daughter to join her. That will never happen anymore.

"It's really sad to hear what happened to Jocelyn. Like me and many others she left the Philippines to get a better job," said Michelle Gose, a member of migrant organization Siklab. "Not only did she suffer a violent death, she was also a casualty of our government's program that pushes us out of the country to work and be separated from our families," Michelle added.

Along with Ms. Pajadura, Michelle and other migrant workers' groups and concerned community organizations have started collecting all the information that they can get to provide news to Jocelyn's mother in Hong Kong and to ensure that body will be brought back to their hometown.

Spearheaded by Migrante-Ontario, a Jocelyn Dulnuan Support Committee will be formed to provide assistance to the repatriation of the Jocelyn's remains and to support the family. Some people in the committee are also looking into the possibility of opening up a trust fund on her behalf.

FOR REFERENCE: Maria Sol Pajadura. Cell: 647-448-7030.
Email: siklab_ontario@yahoo.ca



By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel
Chairperson, International League of Peoples' Struggle

3 October 2007

I am elated by the decision of the Court of Appeals rejecting the demand of the Public Prosecutor's Office for my detention in connection with the investigation of the false and politically motivated charge of ordering or inciting the killing of the two notorious military and police agents Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

The Court of Appeals decision upholds the earlier decision of the District Court of The Hague releasing me from incommunicado detention on the ground that there is no sufficient evidence against me. It goes even further by declaring essentially that there is no prima facie evidence against me. It categorically states that there is no direct evidence to link me to the aforesaid killings and that I am not a criminal perpetrator in any sense.

The Court of Appeals has clarified that for anyone to play a prominent role on behalf of any revolutionary political party or movement in general or in abstracto is no proof of criminal wrongdoing. Direct concrete evidence is necessary to prove any criminal act. The decision has profound implications and has far reaching consequences not only on the question of preventive detention but also on the validity of the charge.

The Court further notes that the charge against me must be seen in their political context and that the statements given by the various witnesses cannot be simply accepted as reliable. It also expresses its doubt as to my ability to fully exercise my right to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses in view of the terrible human rights situation and the dangers to my lawyers.

The prosecution witnesses had been mainly, if not entirely, supplied by the Manila government to Dutch investigators who went to the Philippines to fish for testimonies without any prior finding of wrongdoing by me in The Netherlands and despite the absence of a treaty of extradition between the Philippines and The Netherlands.

The biggest anomaly is that the Dutch prosecutors construe as acts of murder the killings of Kintanar and Tabara whereas in 2006 the prosecutors of the Manila government categorized these as specific acts of rebellion in the rebellion charge filed against me and fifty other persons. This charge, together with its specifications and supposed evidence, was nullified by the Philippine Supreme Court last July.

On their own account, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army have described the Kintanar and Tabara incidents as acts of revolution. They have admitted that the people's court duly issued the warrants of arrest against Kintanar and Tabara and that these armed and dangerous criminal suspects were given battle upon their resistance to arrest by the NPA arresting teams.

The decision of the Court of Appeals is the triumph of justice. In this regard, I thank the judges, G. Oosterhof as Chairperson and G. P. A. Aler and F. Heemskerk as members. Likewise, I thank my counsel Michiel Pestman of Bohler Franken Koppe and Wijngaarden law office and all the parties, institutions, organizations, personages and broad masses of the people who have stood in solidarity with me in order to defend my rights and support my cause against injustice.

I hope that soon the Dutch prosecutors drop the false and politically motivated charge against me. The District Court of The Hague and the Court of Appeals have pointed to the lack of direct and sufficient evidence against me in ruling against my return to solitary confinement. They have exposed the baselessness of the charge against me in fact and in law. I also hope that the prosecutors return to the panelists, consultants and staffers of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines the computers, cameras, publications, papers, digital files and other things seized in the police raids of 28 August.

It is best that we reacquire the means for exercising our democratic rights in The Netherlands and that we can continue to work for the national and social liberation of the Filipino people, defend human rights against the gross and systematic violations thereof in the Philippines and promote a just peace through the resumption of the formal talks in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.



Jose Maria Sison

Président, Comité international de coordination

Ligue internationale des luttes des peuples

Le 28 septembre 2007

La Ligue internationale des luttes des peuples (International League of Peoples' Struggle, ILPS) soutient la lutte démocratique du peuple de Birmanie et condamne la violente suppression par le régime militaire des actions de masse à caractère pacifique. Le peuple birman possède le droit absolu de renverser le régime militaire fasciste et d'établir un régime démocratique sous autorité civile. De plus, il a le droit de s'assurer que les puissances impérialistes ne profiteront pas de la situation pour faire valoir leurs intérêts étroits et égoïstes.

Les actions de masse en Birmanie ont débuté suite à la hausse de plus de 500% du prix de l'essence approuvée par le régime au profit des monopoles d'État du gaz et du pétrole et des compagnies pétrolières étrangères. Par la suite, le mouvement populaire s'est étendu à une vaste série de revendications. L'immense majorité du peuple birman vit dans la pauvreté, résultat de la corruption du régime militaire et de l'exploitation du pays par les monopoles étrangers. Le mouvement démocratique populaire s'est élargi au point de mobiliser les moines bouddhistes qui demeurent très respectés en Birmanie.

La Ligue internationale des luttes des peuples condamne les déclarations hypocrites de George W. Bush et des autres leaders des pays impérialistes. Dans les faits, ces pays n'ont jamais hésité à faire affaire avec le régime militaire birman; ce faisant, ils ont directement contribué à son maintien en place. Les hauts cris qu'ils émettent actuellement à propos de la démocratie sonnent creux, quand on sait que les compagnies états-uniennes arrivent au quatrième rang sur l'ensemble des investissements étrangers en Birmanie. La compagnie pétrolière américaine Unocal est actuellement la plus importante compagnie étrangère installée dans ce pays. D'autres compagnies telles Texaco inc. et Atlantic Richfield Co. des États-Unis, la multinationale Total de France, de même que la Premier Oil britannique poursuivent leurs en Birmanie. Parmi elles, Unocal est notamment partenaire de la Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, elle-même contrôlée par le régime militaire.

De toutes manières, qu'y a-t-il de plus antidémocratique que l'imposition par le régime Bush de régimes pantin dépourvus de quelque soutien populaire que ce soit, comme c'est présentement le cas en Irak et en Afghanistan? Dans sa propre arrière-cour, la police vient d'attaquer et d'arrêter pas moins de 200 personnes lors de la manifestation anti-guerre tenue le 15 septembre à Washington. Quelques jours plus auparavant, l'épouse de George W. Bush, Laura, avait tenu une conférence de presse à la Maison-blanche pour dénoncer la répression contre les militantEs "pro-démocratie" en Birmanie -- cela, au moment même où la police attaquait les militantEs anti-guerre qui tenaient une conférence de presse sur le parvis de la Maison-blanche pour annoncer la manifestation du 15 septembre!

Ce que les États-Unis et les autres puissances impérialistes recherchent d'abord et avant tout en Birmanie, c'est la stabilité. Peu importe, pour elles, que cette stabilité soit assurée par une dictature fasciste ou dans le cadre d'une démocratie bourgeoise: un environnement stable qui favorise les investissements des capitalistes monopolistes étrangers est ce qui importe le plus. Voilà pourquoi les puissances impérialistes et leurs marionnettes s'opposent aux revendications populaires pour la libération nationale, la démocratie, la justice sociale, le développement et la paix.

La Ligue internationale des luttes des peuples appuie la lutte du peuple birman pour le démantèlement du régime militaire et la démocratie. Parallèlement, elle dénonce les tentatives de la part des puissances impérialistes de tirer avantage des événements en Birmanie pour promouvoir leurs intérêts anti-nationaux et antidémocratiques. Nous demeurons pleinement solidaires de la lutte du peuple birman pour la libération nationale, la démocratie et un avenir authentiquement socialiste.

ILPS Supports the People of Burma and Condemns the Military Regime

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle

28 September 2007

The International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) supports the people of Burma in their struggle for democracy and condemns the Burmese military regime for violently suppressing the peaceful mass protests. It is the sovereign right of the Burmese people to overthrow the military fascist regime and establish democracy under civilian authority. It is further their right to make sure that imperialist powers do not take advantage of the situation to advance their own selfish and narrow interests.

The mass protests started by denouncing the 500% fuel price increase approved by the regime for the benefit of the state gas and oil monopoly and foreign oil companies. Since then, the people's movement has put forward a comprehensive range of grievances. The great majority of the people live in poverty as a result of corruption by the military regime and exploitation of foreign monopoly corporations. The people's democratic movement has become so broad as to involve the militant participation of the Buddhist monks who are highly respected in Burma.

The ILPS condemns the hypocritical statements of George W. Bush and other leaders of imperialist powers. These have in fact conducted business with the Burmese military regime and served to prolong its rule. Their protestations about democracy ring hollow. US companies are the fourth biggest foreign investors in Burma. The US oil company Unocal is the biggest foreign-owned company in the country. Besides Unocal, Texaco Inc. and Atlantic Richfield Co. of the United States, Total of France and Premier Oil of Britain maintain operations in Burma. Unocal has joint ventures with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise of Burma which is controlled by the Burmese military regime.

What can be more undemocratic than what Bush is doing in foisting puppet regimes with no popular support on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq? In his own backyard, the police cracked down and arrested more than 200 protesters during the September 15 anti-war demonstration in Washington D.C. Previous to this, while wife Laura Bush was holding a press conference inside the White House condemning the crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Burma, outside horse-mounted police were attacking anti-war activists who were holding a press conference to announce the Protest March on September 15.

What the US and other imperialist powers want foremost in Burma is stability. They do not care if that stability comes from fascist dictatorship or bourgeois democracy. A stable environment for their monopoly capitalist investments is the most important thing for them. The imperialist powers and their puppets oppose the Burmese people's demands for national liberation, democracy, social justice, development and peace.

The ILPS supports the Burmese peoples struggle for the dismantling of the military regime and for democracy. At the same time, the ILPS denounces the attempts of imperialist powers to take advantage of the events in Burma to advance their anti-national and anti-democratic interests. We are in complete solidarity with the Burmese people's struggle for national liberation, democracy and a genuine socialist future.


Justice for Joma pickets held in Ottawa & Toronto

Reza, former political prisoner during time of Shah in Iran, explains his support of Prof. Jose Maria Sison to Dutch Embassy official in Ottawa on September 26, 2007

The Justice for Joma Committee – Canada held picket lines in front of the Embassy of The Netherlands in Ottawa and their consulate in Toronto on September 26, 2007 to protest attempts by Dutch authorities to put Prof. Jose Maria Sison back in jail.

The protest actions were held in Canada and elsewhere to expose a decision by Dutch prosecutors to appeal a recent decision to release Prof. Sison from a Dutch prison and attempt to put him back behind bars.

Prof. Sison, a vocal critic of the Philippine government and their backers in Washington who has lived as a political refugee in the Netherlands for the past 20 years, was arrested by Dutch police on trumped up murder charges on August 28, 2007. Following world wide protests a Dutch court (District Court in The Hague) ordered him released on September 13, 2007 because of lack of evidence directly linking him to the crime of incitement to murder in the Philippines.

In Ottawa, a former political prisoner from Iran told an Embassy official that he was very concerned about the attempts to re-arrest Prof. Joma Sison.

“As a political refugee here in Canada I am very worried that if the Dutch government manages once again to criminalize the political work of Prof. Sison, perhaps the same tricks will be used against refugees like me in other countries,” he said. “I thought Holland was a safe country for political refugees, so I am surprised to see you copying the American model of criminalizing political struggle and arresting and mistreating people who fight for justice.”

“As someone who spent three years imprisoned and tortured for my political beliefs, I feel very strongly about this case and would be ready to give up my place here in Canada for Prof. Sison if you refuse to allow him to live safely and peacefully in the Netherlands!”

Michael Pestman, the Dutch lawyer for Prof. Sison, has reported that “no new evidence was presented” during the hearing on the appeal of Dutch prosecutors to try to reverse the earlier decision of the Dutch court releasing Sison.

According to reports, the court will come out with a decision on the Dutch prosecutor’s appeal on October 3, 2007. The Justice for Joma Committee – Canada and other organizations have every intention of keeping up the pressure until all charges are dropped against Prof. Sison.


27 September 2007

The Netherlands Court of Appeals heard arguments yesterday on whether Professor Jose Maria Sison should remain free or be returned to prison. The court decision will be released 9:30 am on Wednesday, 3 October.

The Dutch government prosecutors appealed the 13 September decision of The Hague District Court which released Prof. Sison from prison. The District Court declared that the prosecutors did not have sufficient evidence to prove charges that Prof. Sison ordered the killing of Romulo Kintanar in 2003 and Arturo Tabara in 2004.

The Court of Appeals yesterday heard arguments from the Dutch government prosecutor, and from defense counsel Michiel Pestman. The three-member panel of judges also gave Prof. Sison an opportunity to present his statement in court. Also present in the courtroom was Prof. Sison's wife, Julie de Lima.

Prof. Sison and his defense counsel Michiel Pestman of the famous Böhler, Franken, Koppe, Wijngaarden law firm expressed confidence that the decision of The Hague District Court would be upheld because the prosecution failed to present any direct evidence or argument that could cause its reversal by the Court of Appeals. However, they refrained from going into any detail because the appeal is still sub judice.

Representatives of member-organizations of the Defend Jose Maria Sison Campaign network from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, held a picket outside the court house to denounce the continuing persecution of Prof. Sison and to demand the dropping of the false charges against him.

Committee DEFEND International


Never Again to Martial Law

September 21, 2007

Never Again to Martial Law: Justice for Joma Committee - Canada marks 35th Anniversary of Philippine Martial Law

Thirty five years ago today, on September 21, 1972, the US-backed dictatorship of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in the Philippines. In remembrance of this grim period in Filipino history, when political parties, unions, and organizations opposing Marcos were made illegal, the newly formed Justice for Joma Committee - Canada joins with the Philippine people and concerned citizens around the globe in raising the call: Never again to martial law!

Three and a half decades later the US-backed Macapagal-Arroyo regime in the Philippines has implemented a series of grossly anti-democratic policies in the name of the "War on Terror" that are a form of martial law in fact, if not in name. We can point to the almost 900 political, social and union activists who have been gunned down and murdered in total impunity since Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power in 2001 as well as the poverty and insecurity that is a daily fact of life for most of the 85 million Filipinos.

Malcolm Guy of the Justice for Joma Committee - Canada said, "Earlier this year, the current Philippine administration was convicted of 'crimes against humanity' by the Permanent People's Tribunal held in The Hague, Netherlands. Today, the Dutch government, in collusion with Manila, is attempting to re-arrest Prof. Jose Maria Sison, or Joma as he is popularly known, a long-standing activist, writer and political refugee and one of the strongest critics of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime. Prof. Sison was recently arrested in the Netherlands on false murder charges but then released following a series of protests in Canada and around the globe as well as a total lack of proof."

On this anniversary of martial law in the Philippines we salute all those Filipinos, like Prof. Sison, who continue to fight for true democracy and peace with justice in the Philippines, who continue to struggle for a government representing the interests of the overwhelming majority of the Philippine people, who continue to stand up for a country freed of foreign multinationals and foreign troops where Filipinos will no longer be forced to migrate in their millions to find a decent job, good education and security.

On September 26, 2007, the Justice for Joma Committee - Canada will hold actions to protest an attempt by Dutch prosecutors to try to return Prof. Jose Maria Sison to prison by appealing his release.

We agree fully with Dr. Carol Pagaduan Araullo, chair of the progressive Philippine organization, Bayan, who writes: "(W)hen we say Never again! we mean not only 'Never again to fascist dictatorship, killings, massacres, torture and all these gross human rights violations'. We should also mean NEVER AGAIN to plunder, crony capitalism, kleptocracy, unbridled ambition, abuse of power and puppetry to foreign interests."

That’s why we say:

Stop the killings in the Philippines !

Never again to Martial Law !

Justice for Prof. Jose Maria Sison !

Justice for Joma Committee - Canada

Centre for Philippine Concerns - Montreal, Centre for Philippine Concerns - Winnipeg, Damayan - Filipino Workers Resource Centre (Toronto), Filipino Workers Support Committee - Toronto, Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines - Ottawa, Philippine Migrant Society of Canada - Ottawa, Philippine Network for Justice and Peace - Toronto, PINAY - Filipino Women of Quebec, SIKLAB – Toronto, UFiND (United Filipinos for Nationalism and Democracy) - Toronto, Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada - Toronto


Assemblée générale / Annual General Meeting

Centre d'appui aux Philippines (CAP-CPC)
Centre for Philippine Concerns

Dimanche le 30 septembre 2007, 14h00-16h30
Sunday, September 30, 2007, 2 pm to 4:30 pm


Victory! Prof. Jose Maria Sison walks free / Les organisations canadiennes fêtent la libération de Joma Sison

Montreal – Filipino migrant organizations and solidarity groups across Canada, members of the Free Joma Sison Committee, are celebrating the release today of Filipino anti-imperialist leader Prof. Jose Maria (Joma) Sison, unjustly imprisoned by Dutch authorities on August 28, 2007.

Prof. Sison is a political refugee who has been living in exile for 20 years in Utrecht, Netherlands. As the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Prof. Sison has been instrumental in pursuing peace talks between the Philippine government and the Philippine revolutionary organization. Sison was a political prisoner for over a decade under former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The Free Joma Sison Committee in Canada held a series of actions including protest letters, fax barrages and rallies in various Canada cities after Prof. Sison’s arrest. They were part of a world-wide reaction to the attempted criminalization of Prof. Sison’s political activities. Dutch prosecutors, in obvious cooperation with the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Manila, had alleged that Prof. Sison ordered the killings in the Philippines of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara. But today, a Dutch court ruled that there was not enough evidence to prove Sison committed the crimes in collusion with others or that he incited others to kill the victims. In other words, the case is groundless.

Of course, the struggle is far from over and we will have to remain vigilant and continue our actions to have the charges dropped. The Dutch national prosecutor’s office has said it will appeal the court’s decision to release Sison. Also, the national police still “consider him a suspect,” according to the national prosecutor's office. The Philippine government will not give up its attempts to silence one of its strongest and most principled opponents.

But our united struggle has paid off to date. We wish we could have been at the NDFP office in Utrecht when Prof. Sison was welcomed by his wife Juliet de Lima, friends and colleagues from the National Democratic Front including Luis Jalandoni and Connie Ledesma, and dozens of well wishers. Mabuhay to Prof. Joma Sison and his family. We confirm our intention to support the ongoing struggle to clear his name and have all charges against him thrown out.

Letter from Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Friends, Warmest greetings!

I am deeply pleased and thankful that the Rechtsbank has decided
to release me from detention. You cannot imagine how happy I am.
It is extremely painful and humiliating to be subjected to
solitary confinement and tough interrogation under overheated
lamps. The ordeal is acute because I am innocent of the false
and politically-motivated charge leveled against me.

I have nothing to do with any murder. This is against my moral
and political principles. I am a teacher by profession who loves
the exchange of ideas towards common understanding and practical
cooperation. I have long devoted myself to the advocacy of human
rights and work for a just peace in the Philippines. I
cannot go into the facts and arguments concerning my case. It is
my lawyer Michiel Pestman who is competent to give you the
information that you need.

Consequent to the release order of the Rechtsbank, I gain some
confidence in the Dutch legal system. I have the opportunity to
prove my innocence and continue to benefit from fair play.
I feel somehow vindicated in choosing The Netherlands as my place
of refuge from persecution in the Philippines. I also wish to
thank the Dutch, Filipino and other peoples for their solidarity
and support.

I will stay in the Netherlands with my wife and my two children
who are already independent. I will conduct my legal defense and
further clear my name. I will continue to exercise my freedom to
speak and other democratic rights. I will continue to work for
national freedom, human rights, social justice and an enduring,
because just, peace in the Philippines.

I will continue to abide by the laws of the Dutch state and
further develop solidarity with the Dutch people whose friendship
and kindness I have enjoyed for more than 20 years.

Thank you.


Les organisations canadiennes fêtent
la libération de Jose Maria Sison

Montréal – Les organisations de migrantes/ants philippines/ins et les groupes de solidarité à travers le Canada, membres du Comité pour la libération de Joma Sison, fêtent la libération, survenue aujourd'hui, du professeur Jose Maria (Joma) Sison, dirigeant anti-impérialiste philippin, arrêté et emprisonné le 28 août 2007 par les autorités des Pays-Bas.

Le professeur Sison est un réfugié politique qui a vécu en exil pendant 20 ans à Utrecht, aux Pays-Bas. En tant que principal consultant politique du Front national démocratique des Philippines (NDFP), le professeur Sison a joué un rôle crucial dans le cadre des négociations de paix menées entre le gouvernement des Philippines et l'organisation révolutionnaire philippine. Sous la dictature de Ferdinand Marcos, Sison a été prisonnier politique pendant dix ans.

Dès que le professeur Sison a été arrêté et emprisonné, un Comité pour la libération de Joma Sison a été formé au Canada et ce dernier a organisé une série d'activités, entre autres des campagnes d'envoi de lettres de protestation par la poste et par télécopieur, des manifestations et des conférences dans plusieurs villes du Canada après l'arrestation du professeur Sison. Ces activités font partie de la riposte mondiale qui s'est développé face à la tentative de criminaliser les activités politiques du professeur Sison. Les procureurs des Pays-Bas, en coopération évidente avec le gouvernement de Gloria Macapagal Arroyo à Manille, ont accusé faussement le professeur Sison d'avoir ordonné la mort de Romulo Kintanar et d'Arturo Tabara aux Philippines. Or aujourd'hui la cour des Pays-Bas a statué qu'il n'y a pas assez de preuves indiquant que Sison ait commis des crimes en collusion avec des tiers ou qu'il ait incité des tiers à tuer les victimes en question. En d'autres termes le cas sans fondement.

Mais la lutte est loin d'être terminée. Nous devrons en effet rester sur nos gardes et poursuivre nos activités afin d'obtenir l'abandon des accusations. Le bureau du procureur du gouvernement des Pays-Bas a déclaré, d'une part, qu'il en appelerait de la décision de la Cour de libérer Sison et que, d'autre part, la police nationale continue de le considérer comme étant un "suspect". Le gouvernement philippin ne cessera pas ses efforts visant à faire taire l'un de ses opposants les plus puissants et les plus intègres.

Mais, pour l'instant, notre lutte conjointe a été couronnée de succès. Nous aurions voulu être à Utrecht, dans le bureau du Front national démocratique des Philippines lorsque le professeur Sison a été accueilli par sa femme Juliet de Lima, par ses amies/is et par ses compagnes/gnons de lutte du Front national démocratique, entre autres Luis Jalandoni et Connie Ledesma, ainsi que des dizaines de personnes qui sont venues pour le féliciter. «Mabuhay» («Félicitations» en Tagalog) au professeur Joma Sison et à sa famille! Nous réitérons notre engagement à appuyer la lutte actuelle pour que son nom ne soit plus sali et pour mettre fin à toute accusation pesant contre lui.


Dutch Embassy in Ottawa: demonstrators demand Prof. Jose Maria Sison's release

Ottawa, Canada, September 7, 2007 – Overseas Filipinos and supporters picketed in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands here today to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, a political refugee who was arrested by Dutch police on August 28, 2007. The demonstrators also protested raids on the homes of other progressive Filipino migrants and refugees in the Netherlands.

Prof. Sison, one of the best known and most vocal opponents of the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her backers in Washington, was arrested for allegedly ordering the killings of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in the Philippines, the homeland he has not visited in 20 years.

“Prof. Sison is a strong anti-imperialist freedom fighter, not a criminal,” said Joe Calugay, coordinator of the Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (Ottawa). “His only crime it to have fought side-by-side with the Philippine people for justice, liberation from foreign domination and fundamental political and social change to benefit the overwhelming majority of the people in his homeland.”

“We are very concerned that he is being kept in isolation in the Scheveningen Penitential Facility, the very prison used by the Nazis to hold and torture Dutch resistance fighters during WWII,” Calugay told the demonstrators. The last time he was imprisoned like this was during the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. Here he is again deprived of his basic rights as a prisoner in what we thought was a civilized and humane society.”

Domestic helpers and other migrant workers at the picket said they felt a strong connection to Prof. Sison because, like them, he was forced to live thousands of miles from his beloved homeland. They said they admired his efforts to change the social and political situation in the Philippines so that millions of Filipinos would no longer be obliged to seek temporary, often unprotected and poorly paid employment in hundreds of countries around the globe.

“We can only wonder if increasing Dutch investments in the Philippines is the real motive behind Prof. Sison’s arrest,” said Malcolm Guy, coordinator for the Centre for Philippine Concerns in Montreal. “Dutch-owned Premier Oil was recently granted rights to drill for oil in Ragay Gulf area of the Philippines. Holland is one of the major investors in the Philippines, with 150 Dutch companies including Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever siphoning huge profits from the country.”

Anna Rijk, Public Diplomacy Officer at the Embassy, met with the picketers who asked her to take their demands to Ambassador Karel P.M. de Beer and request the immediate release of Prof. Jose Maria Sison. “We Filipinos in Canada and elsewhere will never rest until you free this courageous and principled man,” one demonstrator told her.

Ms. Rijk claimed that the murder case is now in the hands of the Dutch judicial system, so there was little the Embassy could do. “We all know that the Dutch police would never have arrested a world renowned political refugee like Prof. Sison without a green light from top authorities in the Dutch government. This is a political case disguised as a criminal case, so therefore we do not accept that your hands are tied and ask that the Embassy transmit our demand for Prof. Sison’s release.” Malcolm Guy replied.

An ongoing fax and e-mail barrage based on the following letter has been organized across Canada over the last two weeks calling on the Dutch government to release Prof. Sison. Please add your voice to the protest :

His Excellency KAREL P.M. DE BEER
Royal Netherlands Embassy
Constitution Square Building
350 Albert Street, suite 2020
Ottawa, ON K1R 1A4

corriel/e-mail: ott-cdp@netherlandsembassy.ca
fax: +1613 237-6471
phone: +1613 237-5030

Dear Ambassador,

I, ____________________, would like to register my strong condemnation for the arrest of Professor Jose Maria Sison, 68, by Dutch Police on what I believe are trumped up charges of “incitement to murders”.

I hereby demand that the Royal Netherlands government order the immediate and unconditional release of Prof. Jose Maria Sison. I also register my total disapproval of the raids on the homes of other progressive Filipino migrants and refugees in the Netherlands.

As you know, Professor Sison has been a political refugee in the Netherlands for nearly 20 years under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Sison was arrested August 28, 2007 for the murders of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara -- in the Philippines, although he has not set foot in that country for 20 years.

I maintain that the real reasons for Professor Sison's arrest are political... not criminal. Prof. Jose Maria Sison has been a leading figure of the Philippine national democratic revolution for almost forty years. He is one of the pioneers who revived the anti-imperialist movement in the Philippines in the early 1960s and he re-established the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). For nine years, he was the most prominent political prisoner of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Sison admits having been the founder and first chairman of the CPP, from its re-establishment in 1968 until his capture by the Marcos regime in 1977, but today he clearly states he is only the chief political consultant of the NDF and is not in the leadership of the New People’s Army or the CPP.

The Philippine government has been plotting to try to silence Professor Sison for many years. They now seem to have worked out a deal with your government to criminalize and gag one of the most influential and vocal critics of the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

They want Professor Sison out of the way because, as the Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF), he embodies the aspirations of the Filipino people in the over 30-year old struggle they are waging for the country's national and social liberation. He personifies the spirit of true and genuine international solidarity necessary to bring about a just and lasting peace. And he has been at the forefront of the campaign to put an end to the 850 extrajudicial politically-motivated killings and 200 forced disappearances that have been perpetrated with impunity during the government of President Arroyo. (See recent report by Professor Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.)

I find the timing of this arrest particularly suspicious since earlier this year the European Court of First Instance annulled the Council of the European Union (EU) decision blacklisting Prof. Sison as a "terrorist".

I concur with Supreme Bishop Millamena of the Philippine Independent Church, who said in a recent interview: "Prof. Sison is not a terrorist. All he does is to fight with the poor for a life in dignity. That is a legitimate struggle”. Former Philippine Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Jr. has also said that “one needs to make a distinction between a rebel who is fighting because of hunger and perceived injustice, and a terrorist who seeks to sow terror and hatred”.

I reiterate my call to the Dutch government and police to immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against Professor Jose Maria Sison.

Yours sincerely,
Signed by
Signed in (city)

Background to arrest of Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Netherlands sharing of intelligence info with Philippine government will endanger the lives of Arroyo political opponents

Luis G. Jalandoni
Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
September 09, 2007

The NDFP has reliable information that Deputy National Security Adviser Pedro Cabuay, Jr. and Director General Cesar Garcia of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency are in The Netherlands to request Dutch authorities to share with them what they presume as a wealth of intelligence that the Dutch police have gathered from the raids on the NDFP Information Office and six houses simultaneous with the arrest of Prof. Sison on 28 August 2007.

The NDFP had previously warned the Dutch authorities through its lawyer Mr. Bernard Tomlow on 5 September that they would be held accountable if more extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of political opponents of the Arroyo regime would occur as a result of sharing of intelligence information to Philippine intelligence agencies or to the CIA. Professor François Houtart and Secretary General Gianni Tognoni of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal have also expressed deep concerns over the safety of the Tribunal's witnesses, after learning that the Dutch authorities also seized visual, written and recorded material related to the Tribunal's Second Session on the Philippines.

Generals Cabuay, Jr. and Garcia are directly responsible for implementing the Arroyo government's national internal security plan Oplan Bantay Laya, which has resulted to nearly 900 extrajudicial killings and more than 200 enforced disappearances of known political activists and leaders of opposition groups. The enforced disappearance of NDFP Consultant Rogelio Calubad and his son Gabriel on 17 June 2006 in Calauag, Quezon province was perpetrated by forces of the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), then under the command of General Cabuay, Jr.

Sharing information with Philippine intelligence agencies and the CIA would pose a very real danger to the lives of those who have been in communication with the NDFP in connection with the peace negotiations and other matters.

We wish to remind the Dutch government that the Arroyo regime has already been censured by the Amnesty International, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the European Union and other governments for the rampant extrajudicial killings of nearly 900 and enforced disappearances of more than 200 political opponents of Arroyo.

The whole world knows about the capacity of the Arroyo regime to commit the worst forms of human rights violations. The Dutch government has already helped Arroyo in deflecting attention from her crimes by arresting Prof. Jose Maria Sison for obviously trumped up charges. It would be complicit to future extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the Philippines if it shares intelligence information to Philippine intelligence agencies. #

Download Doc file

For Reference:
Ruth de Leon
Executive Director
NDFP International Information Office
Fax +31-84-7589930
Email: ndf@casema.nl

Increasing Dutch investments in Philippines tied to Joma arrest

Davao Today / September 2, 2007

MANILA –- Does the increasing number of Dutch investments in the Philippines have anything to do with the arrest last week in the Netherlands of Filipino communist leader Jose Maria Sison? Sison’s supporters in the Philippines certainly think so.

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran, in a statement on Saturday, said the Arroyo government recently approved an oil exploration project by British, US and Dutch companies and that this, among others, “may have helped close the deal of cooperation” between Malacanang and the Dutch government to raid the office of the National Democratic Front in Utrecht and arrest Sison, its chief political consultant.