COMMENT ON SENATOR CHIZ ESCUDERO'S STATEMENT
FOR THE REMOVAL OF TERRORIST TAG ON PROF. SISON AND CPP
Joma/ Jose Maria Sison
4 April, 2009
I consider as positive the advice of Senator Chiz Escudero to the Arroyo
government to speak with the US government and the European Union to
remove the terrorist tag on me and the Communist Party of the
Philippines, if by "temporarily" he means while peace negotiations are
going on between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)
and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in accordance with
their existing bilateral agreements.
I admire Senator Escudero's critical comment that the GRP is apparently
maintaining a hard-line stance and prolonging the impasse by throwing a
monkey wrench to the peace process through the terrorist listing. It was
the GRP that requested the US to designate the CPP, NPA and myself as
terrorist when Arroyo visited the US in November 2001. Then it followed
up and pressed for the approval of its request when then US State
Secretary Colin Powell went to the Philippines in early August 2002.
Within days after Powell's return to the US, the CPP, NPA and myself
were designated as "terrorists". As foreign secretary, Blas Ople also
visited several European countries to campaign for the inclusion of the
aforementioned in the so-called terrorist blacklist of the European Union.
The false charge of inciting murder, my arrest, detention and daily
interrogation for more than a week, the raids on the NDFP office, my
home and six other homes were all meant to fish for evidence not only
for the charge of inciting murder but also for the charge of terrorism.
But no hard evidence for any criminal offense by me was found. Unlike US
and Philippine law, which requires the prior listing of specific things
to be searched and seized under judicial warrant, Dutch law allows the
seizure of all things deemed relevant to a charge and requires that a
new or additional charge is filed upon discovery of evidence for it. The
Dutch government did not find hard or sufficient evidence against me for
murder, terrorism or any other crime. This is a strong ground for the
Council of the European Union to remove my name from its blacklist and
for the Dutch government to move for the removal of my name.
Despite the repeated brazen use of false charges against me, the
violations of my rights and the abuses heaped upon me, I have publicly
declared that, as a consequence of the dismissal of the charge of
inciting the murder of two military assets, I have gained more time to
devote to my work as chief political consultant of the NDFP in the peace
negotiations with the GRP. I would also become less burdened and become
more determined in working for a just and lasting if the terrorist tag
is lifted by the US government and the Council of the European Union.
The Arroyo government should heed the advice of the highly respected
Senator Chiz Escudero. The removal of the terrorist tag would greatly
improve the atmosphere for the peace negotiations and would encourage
progress of the process in terms of further substantive agreements. In
view of the global and domestic financial and economic crisis that
continue to worsen and deepen, it is important and urgent for the GRP
and NDFP to resume formal talks in the peace negotiations in accordance
with the existing bilateral agreements, pay immediate attention to the
implementation of the agreement on respect for human rights and
international humanitarian law and produce a comprehensive agreement on
social and economic reforms at the soonest possible time.
Joma/ Jose Maria Sison
SENATOR CHIZ ESCUDERO ASKS PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT
TO REQUEST US AND EU TO REMOVE TERRORIST TAG ON PROF. SISON AND CPP
Sen Chiz Escudero asked the government yesterday to speak with the
United States government and the European Union if both can temporarily
remove the terrorist tag on Jose. Ma. Sison and the Communist Party of
the Philippines so that peace talks can resume with the leftist rebels.
By throwing a monkey wrench to the process, the government is
seemingly maintaining a hard-line stance and prolonging the impasse,
the opposition senator said.
Escudero said leftist rebels could be convinced to return to the
negotiating table after a Dutch court dropped murder charges against
exiled CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison.
The case involved Sison as allegedly behind the killing of former New
People's Army (NPA) comrades Romulo Kintanar and Antonio Tabora.
The National Democratic Front (NDF) previously sought a halt to the
persecution of Mr. Sison, he recalled.
The NDF is the umbrella group of left-leaning organizations in the
Philippines, while the NPA is its armed wing.
Talks between the two sides have been suspended since 2003.
Meanwhile, the opposition senator called on the authorities to resolve
quickly the case of Edelina Jolloso-Jerus, the widow of a slain activist
who was shot dead this week in Sorsogon.
This crime may inflame passions in the Bicol region, especially now
that the Philippine-US Balikatan exercises have just gotten underway,
Let us give peace a chance and offer hope to the people that the
longest-running communist insurgency in Asia that has sapped resources
and affected so many lives can be resolved peacefully.