From the Files of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle
12 June 2010
General Description: Prof. Jose Maria Sison is a Filipino patriot, a proletarian revolutionary and internationalist. He is a Filipino statesman, known for his experience in and knowledge of the people’s democratic government and revolutionary forces in the Philippines. He is sometimes consulted by high officials of foreign governments and by presidents, senators, congressmen and local officials of the Philippine reactionary government concerning peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and related matters. He is recognized as the the foremost thinker and leader of the Filipino people’s movement for national liberation and democracy in the last 50 years.
After the destruction of the armed revolutionary movement in the early 1950s in the Philippines, he was chiefly responsible for the resurgence of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal mass movement in the Philippines since 1959. He was the founding Chairman of the Central Committee of the CPP, 1968-77. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism and Maoism, on revolutionary movements in Asia and on the international communist movement. He has been a recognized poet since 1962 and awardee of the Southeast Asia WRITE Award for poetry, 1986.
Current Positions and Activities: Prof. Sison is the Chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee, International League of Peoples’ Struggle, 2004 to the present. He is Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Peace Panel Negotiating with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), 1995 to the present; and Chairman, International Network for Philippine Studies, 1989 to the present. He is often asked to write and speak on current burning social issues in the Philippines and to deliver messages of solidarity to major Philippine institutions and organizations. Thus, he is in close touch with his people, despite the great geographic distance of his place of exile.
Birth and Educational Achievement: Born of a landed but patriotic family in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Philippines, on February 8, 1939. He finished with honors the degree of Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in the University of the Philippines in 1959 and took masteral studies in comparative literature in 1959-61. He taught English grammar and literature in the University of the Philippines in 1959-61. He became press relations officer of the Araneta University in 1962-63 and professorial lecturer in political science in the Lyceum of the Philippines, 1964-67. He became an associate professor in political science in the Center of Asian Studies of the University of the Philippines in 1986-87. He was research consultant on development and socialization in the University of Utrecht, 1987-89.
Leader of Mass Movement in the Sixties: Fearless of the Cold War and the Anti-Subversion Law of 1957 which penalized with death political dissent and revolutionary activity, Prof. Sison initiated Marxist study circles and the formation of mass organizations of youth, workers and peasants in order to revive the national democratic movement against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism in the Philippines in the 1960s. He started as a student political activist in the University of the Philippines, where he formed study circles in Marxism and the Philippine revolution from 1958 onwards. He was the founding chairman of the Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines, 1959-62. He used this as a base for forming similar organizations in other universities and promoting student mass protests.
He joined the old merger party of the Communist and Socialist parties and became a member of its Central Executive Committee, 1962-67. He edited the Progressive Review, a Marxist journal of ideas and opinions on Philippine society, economy, politics, culture and foreign policy, from 1963 to 1968. He was in charge of research and education in the legal Workers’ Party (Lapiang Manggagawa) and carried out study courses among the leaders and activists of the trade union, peasant and youth movements from 1962 onwards. He was founding chairman of Kabataang Makabayan (Patriotic Youth) in 1964. He became general secretary and then vice chairman of Socialist Party of the Philippines (formerly Worker’s Party) in 1965. He promoted the national united front and became general secretary of the anti-imperialist united front, Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism in 1966-68.
Leader of the Revolutionary Movement: Prof. Sison led the First Great Rectification Movement among the Filipino communists from 1966 to 1968 in order to criticize, repudiate and rectify the major ideological, political and organizational errors and weaknesses of the leadership of the old communist party from 1930 onwards and thereby lay the basis for the reestablishment of the communist party under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. He advocated the general line of new democratic revolution under working class leadership through protracted people’s war and with socialist perspective. He became the founding Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which was reestablished on December 26, 1968.
He was chairman of the CPP Military Commission that founded the New People’s Army on March 29, 1969. In representation of the CPP, he co-founded the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on April 24, 1973 as an undergound united front organization against the Marcos fascist dictatorship. He was responsible for the mobile office of the central leadership and marched with the revolutionary cadres, Red fighters and masses in various regions of the Philippines. He shared the fighting tasks, the difficulties, the risks and the victories of the armed revolution during its foundational period. He was captured by the Marcos fascist dictatorship on November 10, 1977, subjected to various forms of torture (including punching, water cure, in shackles and fetters for more nearly two years and solitary confinement for than five years) and detained until the fall of Marcos in February 1986.
Activities After Release from Detention: Engaged in public speeches, academic lectures, press interviews and writing articles on the Philippine situation, its problems, possible solutions and prospects. Reinstated as faculty member with the rank of associate professor in political science in the Center of Asian Studies in the University of the Philippines in 1986. Chairman of the Preparatory Committee that founded the Partido ng Bayan (People’s Party). Declined to be chairman of the party and started his lecture tour on the Philippines in Asia-Pacific, India and Europe which lasted from 1986 to 1988. He became research consultant on socialization and development in the University of Utrecht from 1987 to 1989. He continues to give occasional lectures on various topics in Dutch and other European universities.
Continuing Oppression Abroad: Philippine authorities were angered by the lectures of Prof. Sison, canceled his passport and subjected him to false charge of subversion and threats of arbitrary arrest and torture. He applied for political asylum in The Netherlands in 1988. He became recognized as a political refugee by the highest Dutch administrative court in 1992 and again in 1995 . But the Dutch government has refused to grant him asylum and residence. The US, Philippine and Dutch Philippine governments have levelled false charges against him in order to oppress him and discourage him from exercising his civil rights. As a result of lobbying by the US and Philippine governments, he has been blacklisted as a ?erroristby the Dutch government and then by the Council of European Union since 2002.
The European Court of First Instance ruled on July 11, 2007 that he was illegally blacklisted because his rights to be informed of the charge, to legal defense and to availment of judicial protection were violated. Then vindictively, the Dutch authorities arrested him on August 28, 2007 and detained him for two weeks on a false charge of ordering the killing of military agents or ?ecurity contractorsof the Philippine government. The Philippine Supreme Court had ordered on June 2, 2007 the dismissal of the charge of rebellion, which incorporated the aforesaid charge recycled by the Dutch authorities. He was released on September 13, 2007 due to lack of evidence and due to worldwide public outrage over the false charge. The US, Philippine and Dutch governments continue to oppress him with threats of prosecution and imprisonment with the use of false charges in a brazen bid to pressure the NDFP to capitulate to the Philippine government.
The false charge of ordering the killing of military agents in the Philippines against Prof. Sison was dropped by the Dutch Prosecution Service on March 30, 2009 in line with previous decisions of the Dutch examining judge, The Hague District Court and the Court of Appeal. The European Court of Justice ruled on September 30, 2009 that the name of Prof. Sison be removed from the terrorist blacklist of the European Union because he was never investigated, prosecuted or convicted for any act of terrorism and because Dutch court decisions that have nothing to do with terrorism cannot be used against him.
Outstanding Activities Abroad: Prof. Sison has been the chairperson of the International Network for Philippine Studies since 1989 and Center for Social Studies since 1992. He has been a successful individual plaintiff in the human rights case against the Marcos estate in the US court system. He provided the crucial testimony on his torture that proved the direct responsibility of Marcos for human rights violations. He has authored several books and articles published in various languages by US, European and Asian publishers He has been a participant in major poetry festivals. He has contributed papers to conferences and seminars. He has discussed various theoretical issues concerning socialism and capitalism and strategic issues involving the people’s struggle for national and social liberation against imperialism and reaction, particularly against the US-instigated imperialist globalization and global war of terror.
He was chairperson of the International Initiative Committee that founded the ILPS in 2001 and became General Consultant of ILPS from 2001 to 2004. He was elected Chairperson of ILPS by its Second International Assembly in Eindhoven in 2004 and reelected to the same position by the Third International Assembly in Hong Kong 2008. ILPS has become veritably the biggest international united front of people’s organizations along the anti-imperialist and democratic line.
Role in GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations: Since 1989 Prof. Jose Maria Sison has been a political consultant of the NDFP in peace negotiations with the GRP. He has advised the NDFP Negotiating Panel in the forging of twelve agreements with its GRP counterpart. These include The Hague Joint Declaration as framework agreement for the peace negotiations, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, the Joint Agreement on Reciprocal Working Committees and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, which fulfills the first of the four items of the substantive agenda in the peace negotiations.
Books and Articles: He is the author of Struggle for National Democracy (1967), Philippine Society and Revolution (1969), Philippine Economy and Politics (2002), US Terrorism and War in the Philippines (2003), four volumes of his selected writings from 1991 to 2009 and other books. These have provided guidance to the Filipino people’s movement for national liberation and democracy. Prof. Sison has co-authored with Dr. Rainer Werning the book: The Philippine Revolution: From the Leader’s View (1989) and with Ninotchka Rosca, At Home in the World: Portrait of a Filipino Patriot and Revolutionary (2004). These should be read to gain a deeper knowledge of his revolutionary ideas and deeds. Prof. Sison’s thousands of essays, statements, speeches and interviews have been collected for publication in around 15 volumes under thematic titles and according to periods of his life. The list of his books, articles and speeches can be found in www.josemariasion.org ###