BIO-DATA OF JOSE MARIA SISON AS PUBLIC FIGURE
- He graduated from the Cabugao, Ilocos Sur Elementary School as valedictorian in 1952, from the San Juan de Letran high school as gold medalist in 1956 and from University of the Philippines with the degree of Bachelor of Arts with honors in 1959. Upon receiving his A.B. diploma, he was appointed a Teaching Fellow and granted a scholarship to take his masteral in creative writing by the U.P. English Department from 1959 to 1961. Thereafter, he accepted a scholarship grant to study Indonesian language literature in 1962.
- As Chairman of the Student Cultural Association of the UP and President of the UP Journalism Club, he spearheaded from 1958 onward the student movement to defend academic freedom and fight for the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law as a bill of attainder which incriminates people under the unlawful notion of guilt by association. The movement brought about the demonstration of 5000 UP students to literally scuttle the McCarthyite or anti-communist witch hunt hearings conducted by the so-called Congressional Committee on Anti-Filipino Activities.
- He was literary editor of the Philippine Collegian in 1961 and became nationally recognized as a patriotic and progressive poet upon the publication of his first book of poetry Brothers in the same year. He founded and became editor-in-chief of Progressive Review, a political, economic, social and cultural periodical from 1963 to 1968. He was also Philippine correspondent of the London-based Eastern World and the Hongkong-based Eastern Horizon. He became a member of the National Press Club and professorial lecturer on political science in the nearby Lyceum of the Philippines during this period.
- He joined the Workers’ Party (Lapiang Manggagawa) in 1962 as head of its Research and Education Department and was elected general secretary of the in 1964. He organized ih 1966 the united front organization, Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism, and was elected its general secretary at its founding. He joined the old Communist Party of the Philippines in 1962 and was appointed to its Central Executive Committee as representative of the youth.
- He became the national chairman of the Kabataang Makabayan from its founding in 1964 until 1968. As such, he issued public statements and led the mass protests of the youth and workers against the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system and the increasingly brutal and corrupt Marcos regime and became one of the three most frequently published personalities in Philippine media alongside Marcos and Benigno Aquino, Jr.
- He led the First Great Rectification Movement within the old CP from 1965 onward. This laid the ground for the 1968 reestablishment of the CPP under the theoretical guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and along the general line of new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. He became founding chairman of the reestablished CPP and three months thereafter formed the New People’s Army in 1969, together with the good remnants of the old people’s army in Central Luzon. He directed the formation of the Preparatory Commission of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in 1970.
- He was engaged in theoretical and practical work as Founding Chairman of the CPP from 1968 until his capture by the Marcos military in 1977. He was illegally detained for more than 8 years until the fall of Marcos in 1986 and was released on March 5, 1986 by the Cory Aquino regime because the fascist usurpers of power headed by Marcos subjected him to so many violations of human and constitutional rights, such as severe physical and psychological torture, the use of military commissions against civilians and multiple charges for the same political offense of rebellion in violation of the right against double jeopardy of punishment.
- The Marcos fascist regime failed to convict him because he filed a series of habeas corpus petitions to the Supreme Court which countered the invalid judicial authority of the two Marcos military commissions trying him simultaneously for “subversion” and “rebellion” in violation of his constitutional right against double jeopardy. Soon after his release, all his legal documents as Filipino national, including Philippine passport, were restored to him in order to attend the Singapore seminar of prominent Southeast Asian and Filipino political leaders on the Philippines and prospects.
- He rejoined the research and teaching faculty of the University of the Philippines, as Teaching Fellow at the graduate school of the Asian Center as with the rank of associate professor in political science. After finishing his teaching and research duties during the first academic semester of 1986, he accepted the invitations of universities, Filipino community and solidarity organizations in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America in order to lecture on the Philippines and related issues.
- He won the Southeast Asian WRITE Award, the highest literary award in the region, for his socially concerned poetry and essays and especially for his book of poetry Prison and Beyond which reflects his torture and his struggle for freedom. He received the award from the Thai royal family in October 1986. Previously, he hadawards from his Filipino literarypeers in the Writers’ Union of the Philippines and the Manila Critics Circle on after his release from maximum securitydetention by the Marcos fascist regime.
- Because the fascist dictator Marcos had been flown out of the Philippinesby his US protector in 1986, the victims and survivors of human rights violations under his rule found recourse in filing charges against him and his criminal accomplices in the US judicial system. Sison joined the human rights litigation against him. He benefited from the legal assistance provided by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and Human Rights Watch. He won his case against Marcos in 1995 and ultimately received his compensation for moral and material damages through a board of the Philippine government.
- He chaired the Preparatory Commission to establish the Partido ng Bayan (People’s Party) but declined to accept the party chairmanship. He encouraged the most resolute and militant leaders of the mass organizations of workers, peasants, women,youth and professionals,movement to occupy the leading positions in the party. As a matter of course, in various years of his stay abroad, he was given awards of recognition and appreciation by all major mass organizations of the national democratic movement in the Philippines.
- While doing his international speaking tour, the Corazon Aquino regime resented his critique of the unjust Philippine ruling system and her pro-imperialist and reactionary policies, canceled his Philippine passport in September 1988 and renewed the charge of subversion against him in violation of his right against double jeopardy. Thus, he was compelled to apply for political asylum in The Netherlands in October 1988.
- The highest administrative court in the Netherlands, Raad van State, rejected the decision of the Ministry of Justice denying him the status of political refugee and refusing him admission as refugee under Article 1-F of the Geneva Convention. The Raad van State made a clear judgment that he was under the absolutely protection of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the the principle of nonrefoulement under the Refugee Convention. The jurisprudence established in the Soering case was also cited in his support. Thus, he has been able to stay in the Netherlands since 1988.
- In the meantime, the charge of subversion by the Aquino regime was dismissed in 1992 by the Manila court of first instance. The Manila prosecution office also dismissed as factually baseless and sheer speculation the false charge of multiple murder against him in the bombing of the Liberal Party rally in 1971. This was a false flag operation of Marcos and military minions to lay the ground for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in 1971 and proclaim martial law in 1972.
- Worse vilification for Sison came from the Arroyo regime, despite the ongoing GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in which he was engaged as chief political consultant of the NDFP. The regime treacherously lobbied the US, the Dutch and the European Commission to designate the CPP, NPA and Sison as “terrorists” in 2002 and fed the Dutch government with a fabricated charge of multiple murder against Sison in 2007.
- He overcame all the false charges and won all the major cases against him before the courts of the Netherlands and the European Court of Justice. The Duterte regime would make the the worst and most absurd charges against Sison through political psywar from 2017 to 2022. But these charges were never presented before any court with valid jurisdiction over him. Thus, he has continued to stay in The Netherlands.
- While abroad, he has consistently advocated the struggle of the Filipino people for national and social liberation and has supported the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle of the people of the world. In this regard, he has participated in international academic, social and political organizations, seminars and conferences. He is highly regarded as an authority in the theory and practice of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism, public intellectual and social activist.
- He was a long-time Chairperson of the Center for Social Studies and the International Network for Philippine Studies from late 1980s onward. He was Chairperson of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist and Organizations from 1992 to 1994, presided over the International Seminar on Mao Zedong Thought and co-edited the book Mao Zedong Thought Lives! He served five terms as Chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle from 2004 to 2019. He is now the Chairperson Emeritus.
- He has chaired major international conferences of anti-imperialist and democratic formations. He delivered substantial lectures and speeches to academic, trade union, community and solidarity audiences on Philippine and global issues. And he has published so many articles and books that assure him a place of honor in contemporary times and in history as a major public figure, a progressive book author, scholar and activist in the service of the people.
To know more about his life and works, please read his biographies and other sources of information. These are always carried by his updated list of books in every issue of Focus on Jose Maria Sison.
BIOGRAPHIES OF JOSE MARIA SISON
- The Philippine Revolution: The Leader’s View. Co-authored with Rainer Werning. New York, Crane Russak, 1989. 270 pages. ISBN 08448-1581-0
- At Home in the World: Portrait of a Revolutionary. Co-authored with Ninotschka Rosca. (Greenboro, NC, Open Hand Publishing LLC, 2004). 260 pages. ISBN 0-940880-72-5
- Reflections on Revolution and Prospects. Co-authored with Dr. Rainer Werning. (The Netherlands, International Network for Philippine Studies, 2019) 340 pages. ISBN 978-1-62847-9379-5
- Ein Leben im Widestand; Gesprache uber Imperialismus , Sozialismus und Befreiung (Verlag Neuer Weg, 2019) 340 pages ISBN 978-3-88021-558-0###