By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
26 March 2007
As chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), I wish to congratulate the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT), the initiators, the distinguished jurors from various countries, the prosecutors, the plaintiffs and coordinators for their resounding success in the trial of the case of the Filipino people against the Arroyo regime and its imperialist accomplices from the five-day PPT proceedings from 21 to 25 March 2007 in The Hague, The Netherlands.
We hail as well-substantiated and just the verdict of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal finding the governments of Gloria M. Arroyo and George W. Bush, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, the multinational firms and banks guilty of oppressing the Filipino people, plundering the Philippines and trampling down on Philippine sovereignty.
The accused oppressors and plunderers are guilty of the following crimes:
1. Violations of human rights, especially civil and political rights, with particular focus on extra-judicial killings, disappearances, massacres, torture as well as other vicious, brutal and systematic abuses and attacks on the basic democratic rights of the people.
2. Violations of human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights of the Filipino people through the imposition of “free market” globalization to exploit them; transgression of their economic sovereignty and national patrimony; various forms of economic plunder and attacks on their economic rights; and the destruction of the environment.
3. Violations of the rights of the people to national self-determination and liberation through the imposition of the US war of terror; US military intervention; as well as the perpetration of crimes against humanity and war crimes; misrepresentations of the people’s right to national liberation and self-determination as terrorism and the baseless “terrorist” listing of individuals, organizations and other entities by the US and other governments.
We are deeply pleased that the Filipino people and the organizations, HUSTISYA!, SELDA, Desaparecidos, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN, New Patriotic Alliance), KARAPATAN, Public Interest Law Center, Peace for Life, Philippine Peace Center, IBON Foundation, United Church of Christ in the Philippines and the Ecumenical Bishops Forum have won a meaningful measure of justice from the PPT trial.
As an organization dedicated to the cause of national and social liberation of the peoples of the world, we the ILPS are glad that the PPT verdict condemns the imperialist policy of profit-driven “free market globalization” and the Bush global war of terror. These are the motivations and cause of the brutal suppression of human rights in the Philippines.
We praise the PPT verdict for regarding as substantiated the charge against the Arroyo and Bush governments for violating Philippine national sovereignty. The charge includes the instigation of crimes against humanity under the Bush war of terror, US military intervention and the misrepresentation of the people’s right to national liberation and self-determination as “terrorism” and the listing and labeling of Philippine revolutionary forces and progressive leaders as “terrorist”.
We believe that the PPT verdict will have far reaching consequences. The record of the proceedings and the verdict will be published and will serve as substantial material for mass campaigns in the Philippines and abroad. They expose the crimes of the Arroyo regime and its accomplices and can further arouse and mobilize the Filipino people to fight for their national and democratic rights, with the support of the people of the world.
The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is an international opinion court. The victimized peoples and organizations submit their case to this tribunal when they have no access to a fair and just court of law. The trials and verdicts of the PPT have a strong moral authority and are resonant throughout the world. Furthermore, the evidence and legal arguments collected and ventilated before the PPT can be used in the future to try Gloria M. Arroyo and her cohorts in various courts of law for criminal and civil liabilities. ###