JMS Expose of Torture and other JMS Statements

Statement Before The Supreme Court
by Jose Ma. Sison
Published by the Philippines Research Group, London, 1979.
March 13, 1979

Introduction

The following statement by Jose Ma. Sison, well known Filipino nationalist writer and alleged Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, was originally intended to be read in open session before the Philippine Supreme Court during a scheduled hearing on March 13, 1979.

The said hearing which arose from the habeas corpus petition filed on Sison’s behalf by Counsel Atty. Juan T. David was postponed indefinitely. As a result, the public dissemination of this document has been held back.

However, the urgency of the statement’s message, particularly in the light of the brutal conditions of detention imposed on Sison, requires the immediate publication of this document without any further delay.

The statement describes in detail the cruel and inhuman treatment applied on Sison since his arrest by government intelligence operatives on November 10, 1977. His experience of torture in the hands of military interrogators is common to many political prisoners arrested since the proclamation of martial law in 1972. However, the length and severity of his solitary confinement and enchainment at the maximum security stockade of the Philippine Army Military Security Unit at Fort Bonifacio are unprecedented.

The statement also reveals the existence of two other documents written by Sison under detention that have yet to be published. It is hoped that these too will be forthcoming. This document by itself, however, stands as an eloquent manifesto that refutes repeated official declarations of a humane policy towards political detainees.

Statement Before the Supreme Court
March 13, 1979
By Jose Ma. Sison

Most Honorable Court:

I would have liked to speak on a broad range of issues pertaining to the political charges against me. But considering the limited time allotted to me to speak, I shall have to concentrate on the essential facts of my experience in captivity, as they relate to the violation of certain constitutional rights.

To make up for any possible deficiency in my oral presentation, I have with my lawyer a number of statements and letters of information regarding my detention experience. The most important of these is my account entitled My Detention Experience and dated June 23, 1978, which reveals in detail how I was subjected to outright physical torture on November 13 and 14, 1977 and how I continued to be subjected to mental and physical strain even after those days.

Not to be remiss in my duty to the people to defend not only myself but also the democratic cause, I also have with my lawyer a long statement dealing comprehensively with fundamental legal and political issues pertinent to the political charges against me. In this statement, I point out among others the unjust redundancy of the charges of subversion and rebellion, the double jeopardy involved. But most importantly, I deal with the illegitimate foundation of the autocratic government and its military commissions and the falsity of such claims that a Republic has been saved by a monarchy and a New Society has been built by the preservation and aggravation of the same semi colonial and semi feudal society.

I now start with my narration. I was arrested together with my wife and three other persons on November 10, 1977, at Barrio Pagdalagan Norte, San Fernando, La Union. I was in transit to a study conference of democratic leaders on the subject of “The Fascist Dictatorship and the Democratic Movement”. This is the first time that I state in the hearing of my captors the purpose of my presence where I was arrested.

I have no complaint about the manner of my arrest, except one important point. The arresting officers did not carry and did not show any judicial warrant or even executive order specifying the persons and things to be seized. Thus, persons and things were seized indiscriminately in gross violation of Section 3 of the Bill of Rights of the 1973 Constitution.

I personally take lightly the intimidatory acts and words of those who arrested me and I do not mind even the fact that I was pushed so hard into a vehicle that my eyeglasses were broken and destroyed at the risk of damage to my eyes and that my shins were gashed and bruised.

Soon after I was brought to the C 2 office at Camp Crame, then Capt. Virgilio Saldajeno who introduced himself as a PC legal officer was asking me to make a written statement. I said firmly that I could not make any statement until I had a lawyer of my choice. My arrested companions and I jointly and separately asked for access to legal counsel, and relatives.

I had the chance to meet and talk with quite a number of generals and Mr Marcos no less soon after my arrest. I was tempted to think then that some civilised procedure would be applied on me and my companions and that our constitutional rights would be respected.

At some time past 11 p.m. on November 10, 1977, 1 was blindfolded and brought to what I would later find out after several months to be the Military Security Unit of the Philippine Army at Fort Bonifacio. I was pushed into a small, suffocating room with a boarded up window.

On the succeeding two days, I was subjected to relays of interrogators who kept asking who was supposed to be my successor in the Communist Party, besides other questions. I simply refused to answer any of the questions or parried them by citing my right to legal counsel or drawing my interrogators into some political discussion. Among the interrogators was Capt. Saldajeno who came on November 11 and 12, 1977 to ask me repeatedly to make a written statement. I maintained as before that I would not make any statement without a lawyer of my choice.

Torture by Punches and Water Cure

Events took a very drastic turn between 8 and 9 p.m. on November 13, 1977. On the allegation that I was trying to escape, I was blindfolded with my own shirt and handcuffed behind my back by Lt. Melchor Acosta, then acting CO of the HHC of MSU (I came to know his real name only on June 23, 1978). After a while, another person came to subject me to barrages of fist blows on the chest and floating ribs.

My assailant, together with still another person, interrogated me on such questions as who are the AFP officers connected with the CPP, the armed strength and disposition of the NPA, sources of funds, houses or barrios to which I would go in case of successful escape, and so on. I was usually given several blows for every question that was asked. It seemed that my assailant was ‘never satisfied with my answers as he kept on hitting me. The punching session must have lasted for at least an hour.

I was subsequently chained to a cot by one hand and one foot, with the use of handcuffs. The room was dark when I removed the blindfold with my free hand. But a large flashlight was constantly on and focused on my face. I was kept awake by two young men in their twenties who alternated in asking me questions that had been asked of me during the punching session and also in making death threats and insults. I was repeatedly told that I would be killed as if I had been in the act of escaping if I did not “cooperate. ”

A pistol was always pointed at me by one of the two men who said from time to time that I would be disposed of the following day. He kept on kicking at the foot of the cot. He would also make a motion of wanting to hit me and the other man would pretend to hold him back. It was obvious to them that I was not intimidated. They would curse whenever I told them to let me sleep or to learn methods of investigation from Hawaii Five 0.

Throughout the morning, noon and early afternoon of November 14, 1977, two men who were apparently officers alternated in interrogating and keeping me awake. One made veiled threats about a scheme to finish me off. The other had a menacing style talking forcefully and occasionally flexing one arm as if he wanted to hit me. I gave general answers only to those general questions which any man on the street would venture to answer. I can identify these two officers if I see them again because I was not blindfolded. Both appeared to be staff officers of the MSU.

At about 4 p.m. of November 14, 1 was again blindfolded as a swarm of men came into the room. I was able to see some of them, especially the one who looked like a senior officer (he was later identified to me as Col. Miguel Aure when he came to my room with Capt. Saldajeno on July 14, 1978). I can identify as least three more of these men if I see them again.

My free hand and foot were shackled by handcuffs to the cot. Thus, I was completely bound to the cot. A pail of water was brought in. A face towel was placed across my nose and mouth. I had to be pinned down by the shoulders as I kept on struggling, lifting the upper part of my body, moving my head vigorously and at times succeeding in loosening the blindfold and seeing the faces of my tormentors. At one point, someone had to sit down on my stomach to hold me down as the water cure was in progress.

Water was poured into my nostrils through the towel and my mouth was held shut for strangulation effect in order to force me to seek relief and answer questions. From time to time, a gun barrel was poked into my mouth, especially when I did not make any answer or said something that my tormentors did not like or appeared not to believe. They also repeatedly threatened to subject me to electric shocks before they would kill me.

The strangulation session must have taken some six hours. I was asked about 85 questions which I would later be able to tabulate. These are listed in my account dated June 23, 1978. These were repeated so many times as my answers or lack of answers appeared unsatisfactory to my tormentors. I had to suffer even for names and pseudonyms I was completely ignorant of. I also had to suffer even for the names of mountains and barrios I was not aware of. The questions were interrupted with insults and death threats.

My tormentors were most persistent on such questions as the whereabouts of Rodolfo Salas, members and staff of the Central Committee of the CPP and so called underground houses; AFP officers and religious leaders connected with the underground; identities of CPP leaders in the regions; CPP sources of funds and supposed business enterprises; whereabouts of my children; contacts with the Chinese Communist Party; the killing of Judge Puno; and reasons for my having asked for Attys. Diokno and David as my lawyers.

Towards the end of the strangulation session, when I was about to fall asleep from exhaustion, one of my tormentors tried to apply hypnosis on me and failed. For all their troubles, my tormentors got either negative answers, cock and bull and trip wire. I was without food and sleep for about 26 hours, from the beginning of the punching session to the end of the strangulation session. Even after the water cure, two relays of interrogators still came after my meal so that I was not able to rest until around midnight.

Until November 17, 1977, relays of interrogators would come to the room every morning, afternoon and evening. The first interrogators would come as early as 5 or 6 a.m. and the last interrogators would depart as late as 1 or 2 a.m. I had to maintain my wits and integrity even as I was in some daze and was not allowed to recover completely from the punching and water cure. I suffered chest pains as a result of the punches and water cure and my hands were numb from the wrist down as a result of the overtightness of the handcuffs during the torture session.

It would only be after two months that I would fully recover from the chest pains and after three months from the numbness of my hands.

From November 15 to November 17, 1977, 1 was always blindfolded by the guards before the interrogators entered my cell. Questions already asked during the strangulation session of November 14 were merely repeated ad n auseam. On the morning of November 17, someone came to offer a deal: my reunion with my wife in exchange for one regional secretary of the Communist Party of the Philippines. I merely ground my teeth at him.

On the late afternoon of November 17,1977, Capt. Saldajeno came with another officer. This time I was not blindfolded. Capt. Saldajeno came to offer that I would cease to be tormented and interrogated if I made a statement that would incriminate myself and no others. All that I was supposed to do was declare that I am Amado Guerrero, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

It was clear to me that the statement was being extorted from me, although Capt. Saldajeno and his companion outwardly conducted themselves like gentlemen. In view of what I had already undergone and was still undergoing, and also in view of the danger that anything could be done to me and could be claimed of me while I was in solitary confinement, I accepted the offer on the additional condition that the statement would include a part declaring that I would not be making any other statement while I did not yet have a lawyer of my choice and while I was still in the custody of the military; and that I would soon be present in court.

What kept running through my mind was that my custodians had samples of my signature, that I could be killed and later claimed as a suicide and that a statement in my name would be for ged with my dead thumb impression it to clinch authenticity. I was not concerned with saving my life because I was aware that the death penalty would be applied on me under Republic Act 1700 by incriminating myself as no less than the CPP Central Committee Chairman. I was actually being compelled to sign a death warrant. But my uppermost concern was to preclude the possible fabrication of a statement that would incriminate others and make me appear as one shamelessly untrue to the democratic cause.

Even in being flexible while sticking to my principles, I still had doubts that my tormentors would honor the agreement between me and Capt. Saldajeno. It helped to resolve my doubts by thinking that my self incrimination would be quite satisfying to the highest authorities of the regime. I recalled that Mr Marcos had prejudged me by pointing to me as Amado Guerrero, CPP Chairman, in his booklet Today’s Revolution: Democracy (1971). The prejudgement was in need of a basis, no matter how artificial. And my interrogators would look too stupid if they could not get that.

As a layman deprived of legal counsel, I also thought during my moment of decision that if I introduced an untruth into the statement that would make it entirely false if I would later be able to repudiate the statement by proving the untruth, and its character as the fruit of coercion. I did so in the honest belief of countering and outwitting the unconstitutional methods applied on me to extract the statement. But my lawyer now tells me that the military prosecutors will absolutely refuse to allow evidence to debunk what they will insist on as a self confession, regardless of its false basis in fact.

As a former teacher of political science, I have some understanding of the right against selfincrimination, especially in the 1935 Constitution. Thus, I insisted on having a lawyer of my choice and I refused to make any statement when I could. When my custodians allowed me in the days before November 13, 1977 and after I was compelled to make the statement dated November 18, 1977, 1 wrote letters asking for legal counsel. But my letters were never allowed to reach the lawyers of my choice, Attys. David and Diokno and other addressees like my relatives and “Task Force Detainees” of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines. I still have copies of the letters and these are noted in my account dated June 23, 1978.

Having a formal knowledge of the right against self incrimination or being able to recite it is one thing. But being able to exercise it under conditions of isolation, torture and malicious threats is another thing. I had to contend with the force, violence, threat, intimidation and other means (the offer of relief from torture) that was applied on me to vitiate my free will.

I was glad to acknowledge the counsel of my lawyer that there has been a great deal of constitutional and jurisprudential progress regarding the right against self incrimination. This had been achieved by way of counteracting and nullifying the unscrupulous and violent methods employed by law and my isolation. From the beginning, my guards have been under prohibition from talking to me except when they — something for a few seconds on behalf of their superiors.

I continued to be kept in a fully enclosed cell, a small room with a boarded up window. From 11 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. of the months of November to January, it is oppressively hot. In the summer months, it is practically hell during the day and is oppressively hot even at night. During the day, a wet cloth dries up in a few hours’ time. I am now enduring once more the intensified heat in this cell.

I was shackled to my cot by my right hand and left foot day in and day out, on a 24 hour basis, for more than seven months, from November 13, 1977 to June 23, 1978. This was constant physical violence on my person. I consider this even more savage than the punching and strangulation sessions. I was told sometimes by an officer and at other times by the guards in some threatening or mocking tone that I had to be chained because I had refused to “cooperate” or because I would escape or commit suicide. I was unchained only for brief periods of a few minutes to take my meal or go to the toilet; and my guard always insolently hurried me and often made insulting remarks.

For about four months, from the time of my capture to February 9, 1978, 1 was deprived of my eyeglasses (no replacement for my broken ones), despite the grossly unequal visual capacity of my eyes. I had to suffer eyestrain and headache every day. I was told that I did not need any eyeglasses because I had nothing to read from the walls and ceiling.

I had nothing to read for a stretch of more than four months and after I was given something to read within a few days I again had nothing to read for a longer stretch of time. I was also deprived of cigarettes from November 12, 1977 to the end of February 1978. This was started even before the physical torture of November 13 and 14, 1977 in retaliation to my complaint that my room was suffocating.

Until now, I remain in chains in the same stifling cell. Since June 23, 1978, 1 have been disconnected or unchained from my cot. But I am still shackled by both feet by a pair of handcuffs during my waking hours. Thus, I can only toddle around the room like a small child learning to walk. When I go to sleep at night, I am chained to the cot. As from the very start, the inspectors come so often to flash a light on me even as I am already chained to the cot for my rest.

From November 10, 1977 to January 17, 1978, 1 was not allowed to have any sunshine. In the succeeding 11 months from the latter date I had no more than a total of 24 hours sunshine despite the standard prison rule of one hour daily sunning for ordinary criminals already condemned to death. Only since last December 1978 have I been allowed to have sunning at the still substandard rate of three times a week at one hour per time.

Whenever I am brouqht out of my room for any reason I have to suffer the indignity and discomfort of being blindfolded until I reach the destination, —

— forcement officers to extract self incriminatory statements. My lawyer refers to Section 20 of the Bill of Rights of the 1973 Constitution and the US Supreme Court ruling in the Escobedo Miranda case.

In gross violation of Section 20 of the Bill of Rights, I was under duress and I was compelled to be a witness against myself. Though Capt. Saldajeno and Agent Calayag who administered the making of my self incriminatory statement on November 18, 1977 saw it fit to induce me to make such a statement, they did not see it fit to allow me to consult with a lawyer of my choice and moreover they did not inform me of my right to remain silent and to have a lawyer.

Instead of informing me adequately on the right and allowing me to exercise it, they took advantage of my forced isolation and the force, violence, threat and intimidation applied on me by offering relief from these in exchange for the statement of self incrimination. A person of my educational background and political experience could not have refused to remain silent and to have a lawyer as a matter of right had he been assured and allowed to exercise it.

I am told by my lawyer that enlightened jurisprudence would rather allow one or a few culprits to go unpunished for lack of evidence than lay down a principle allowing officers of the law to extract statements of self incrimination by force, intimidation and other underhanded methods. Because such a negative principle is liable to result in systematic and largescale * abuses by officers of the law themselves, which abuses are bound to victimise more innocent people than real culprits. The officers of the law themselves are also liable to become the most privileged criminals.

Prolonged Mental and Physical Strain

After the statement of self incrimination on November 18,1977, 1 became relieved of the torment of frequent interrogations and repititious questions and I was allowed to recover physically. But I continued to be subjected to what eventually turned out to be a worse form of torture. It was chiefly mental torture attended by physical isolation, constant enchainment and other straining conditions. It was clear that my tormentors were still wanting to break my nerves or my principles.

I was deprived of visitors that I would welcome. As before, I repeatedly asked for access to a lawyer, my wife, others arrested with us and our relatives. But my custodians did not bother to give any kind of answer, except some mocking responses at certain times from inspectors who looked through a window of my cell door. The days, weeks and months passed until August 7, 1978, when my mother, sister and lawyer were allowed to visit me.

One or two military officers would come to my cell for a while at the average rate of once in two weeks during the period of December 1977 to the middle of February 1978. And then they ceased to come in order to complete —

— tion, either inside or outside of the MSU compound. Sometimes, the blindfolding becomes painful when I am bumped into things by a careless or mischievous escort. I feel that this blindfolding is designed more to humiliate me than anything else, just like the other abuses that have been done on my person.

Until now, I have not been allowed to read even the Marcos lining newspapers of Manila. Reading materials from my relatives and friends are not allowed to reach me. When Atty. Joker Arroyo gave me a copy of the pamphlet Legal Rights of Political Detainees last February 23 during a hearing, it was immediately confiscated from me as soon as I was out of public view. When Atty. Juan T. David, my own lawyer, gave me a copy of his Habeas Corpus petition to the Supreme Court involving my wife and me, it was also taken away from me as soon as he left the MSU reception room last February 28.

The authority to visit me which has been extended to my lawyer and family since August 7, 1978 has been so limited or restricted that in effect there is only one person in my family, aside from my lawyer, who can visit me. Due to her professional and family responsibilities, my sister, who is my lone family visitor has been unable to visit me at certain times for as long as five weeks.

My wife and I are detained in the same compound. But until now, even after more than 15 months since our arrest, we have not been allowed to meet and talk by ourselves at reasonable length, despite contrary precedents which allow not only conjugal meetings between co accused husband and wife but even the temporary release on account of the children.

My mother and sister have long wanted my wife and me to be visited by religious people, especially by Archbishop Sison and by religious personnel devoted to pastoral work among political detainees. I have agreed to welcome their visit since August 7, 1978. But my custodians or higher authorities do not allow them. At one time, I am told that communists do not talk to religious people. At another time, I am told that religious people are in collusion with communists.

My requests for medical and dental treatment from MSU medical personnel have not been attended to for periods as long as five months. Each time that my dental treatment was allowed, the attention was superficial and incomplete. The last time my two lower front teeth were treated for filling, the dentist practically busted these plus one more tooth and did further permanent damage to them. I would like to have a doctor and dentist of my choice, just as I have a lawyer of my choice. I also have strong doubts about the medical treatment that I last received concerning an obstruction in the pupil of my left eye.

There are so many seemingly minor vexations that have been imposed on me to make my solitary confinement and enchainment truly trying. Taken in isolation, each of these might be dismissed as a mere trifle. But this can spell misery for a person in isolation, even if he were without chains and placed in an airy room. I can mention some of these trifles.

I was once asked to undress completely in the cell on the grounds that I would have to be inspected thoroughly before meeting my visitor. When I used to be chained to my cot on a 24hour basis, I was not allowed for four months to clean my cot and rid it of bedbugs which pestered me, especially at night. At certain times I have not been allowed to have my hair and nails cut for as long as five months. When I used to be guarded closely while eating, my guard would tell me to hurry up because he, in colorful Tagalog, had a loose bowel movement.

Recently, my handcuffs which are also my fetters during my waking hours were replaced with new ones which have sharp edges and tighten at the slightest pressure. Upon my complaint, these were replaced with handcuffs that have only one link (usually there are two or three) and make my toddling even more difficult. The replacement of the handcuffs came immediately after I was observed listing down my complaints for the benefit of my lawyer last February 28.

There are two important points I would like to raise regarding my prolonged ordeal in solitary confinement and enchainment. Firstly, I wish to refer to the constitutional right of equal protection of the law. Secondly, I wish to point out that it is unfair and unjust that while I am being tried I should be kept in a military unit where I have been subjected to brutal torture and where I still continue to be subjected so relentlessly to mental torture and so many physical difficulties and vexations.

By way of demonstrating the gross violation of my right to equal protection of the law, I would like to compare the situation of Senator Aquino with mine. The comparison is appropriate, especially because we are both in the custody of the same military unit. After all the foregoing narration of my experience and situation, all that I have to do is to mention the publicly known facts about Senator Aquino’s situation.

Senator Aquino has not been subjected to outrightly brutal treatment comparable to what I have been subjected to. He has been allowed to give press interviews not only to local newsmen but also foreign ones. Remember that not so long after his arrest he was allowed to be interviewed by Tony Clifton of Newsweek. He can issue press statements anytime he wants. He has been able to participate in elections and to write a book.

He has a cottage of his own in the same compound where my wife and I have to sweat it out in separate isolation cells. He has a refrigerator, a television set, a radio, an airconditioning unit or ventilators and cooking facilities. He can play pelota. He has overnight conjugal visits. He is visited by a wide range of relatives and friends. He has been visited by quite a number of his foreign friends.

Certainly, I would like to have the termination of the brutal and intolerable conditions of my detention. I would like to be unchained and placed in a decent room, preferably with fellow detainees, if not with my wife. I would like the blindfolding business to stop. I would like to read the newspapers and books of my choice, even only as convicts in Muntinlupa are allowed. I would like to write as much as I want and have work and sports activities like other detainees. I would like to have conjugal visits and the visits of a wide range of relatives and friends. I would like to have such a modest facility like a radio which I can afford and other legitimate facilities that my relatives and friends can provide.

Why should I be discriminated against so violently and so grossly by the same custodians that Senator Aquino and I have when in fact my legal status at the moment is even relatively better than his? He has been convicted and sentenced to death by a military commission, whereas I have not yet been convicted by any military commission. He is charged with more offenses (subversion, murder and illegal possession of firearms). I face only two redundant charges (subversion and rebellion). The gravest charge against him is no lesser than the gravest charge against me.

Why should I not be entitled to the right of equal protection of the law? Is there not class discrimination even in the treatment of political detainees? Am I not already so presumed guilty in a peculiar way that I must be relentlessly tortured and deprived of decent civilised treatment? Am I to believe what was always being drummed into me during my torture by punches and water cure that I would suffer first before the final death blow?

In addition to the demand that my right to equal protection of the law be respected, my wife and I would like to be transferred to another detention center where other political detainees can observe how we are being treated. The situation is such in the MSU that, even if one were allowed the same conveniences that Senator Aquino has, a political detainee is absolutely deprived of the least possibility of having a witness in his favour whatever is done to him and claimed against him by the authorities.

It is unfair and unjust that I be subjected to trial by military commissions that do not assume full and direct responsibility for our custody and treatment. I am still being subjected to conditions of duress. I can still be harmed any time and my complaint will be too late and futile, except to inform the people. My mother, sister and lawyer have too long and too often been given the run around, although everybody knows that my custodians, interrogators, prosecutors and judges are all under the executive and military command of Mr Marcos.

As a result of this statement, I am almost certain that there will be a series of retaliations against me. It has been my experience that whenever I make a request or demand and at the same time invoke a certain right, my custodians or higher authorities always seem to take offense and react by not only refusing to accede to the request or demand, but also doing something to make my situation worse. It seems that in their view I have completely lost every right.

Such is the arrogance of fascists, high and low. They want you to crawl on your knees for the return of a little fraction of so much that they have taken away illegally and unconstitutionally. Then, for the return of that little fraction, they want to grab so much more or the whole lot of what you might still have. Thus, for instance, I have been told that my wife and I shall have conjugal meetings only after we shall have pleaded guilty to charges against us in order to cut short the proceedings of the military commissions.

It is the same story as when I was offered my immediate reunion with my wife in exchange for one regional secretary of the Communist Party. The fascist brutes were angling so that they could crush the Communist Party at one blow by getting hold of someone as the key to the Second National Congress of the CPP. But I was not in any position to give the brutes that satisfaction, even as they were stupid enough to underestimate my integrity and wits.

Upon the good counsel of my lawyer, I insist on certain constitutional rights in this statement. But in another statement, as I have already said, I make a comprehensive and fundamental criticism and condemnation of the anti national and anti democratic reign of terror and greed. By actively participating in my legal defense, I try not only to expose, delay or stay the hand of injustice about to smite me but also to continue doing my bit in the defense of the people’s democratic cause.

I am aware that so far my ordeal in the hands of the fascists is so slight in comparison to the torture suffered by several of my co accused. It is also as nothing in comparison to the torture and murder as well as massacre of thousands of revolutionary martyrs. With this awareness, I am determined to keep on fighting and I am prepared to undergo further fascist brutality until my tormentors decide to finally kill me.

The broad masses of the people will eventually put the whole lot of their oppressors in their proper places. Right now, the organised democratic revolutionary forces are steadily growing in strength and advancing. US imperialism and the local exploiting classes will utterly regret that the fascist regime has only served to accelerate the rise of the revolutionary forces and the doom of the already outmoded system.

Signed: Jose Ma. Sison