By Prof. Jose Maria Sison, A recognized leader of the national democratic movement in the Philippines & Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Peace Negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines
April 20, 2022
To Jonas Staal (artist), Jan Fermon (lawyer) and All Concerned:
I make this testimony to establish the basis of my complaint against Facebook and to signify my joining the Collective Facebook as a collective action lawsuit to compel legal recognition of Facebook as a public domain that should be under ownership and control of its users: Facebook must be collectivized.
- I have had an account with Facebook under the name of Joma Sison since 2009 or thereabouts. Last February 3, 2022 Facebook gave me notice that my account was being blocked temporarily for three days because it “looked like” that I posted on my Timeline content against Facebook Community Standards. The specific content pictured and referred to in the notice was an announcement of the Zoom launching of my book On the Communist Party of the Philippines on February 6, 2022. This book was earlier published by American publishers who enjoy the freedom of enterprise.
On February 10, 2022 I got the notice from Facebook that my account had been disabled and that the decision cannot be reversed.
Facebook has abruptly made drastic decisions against me without hearing my side before imposing a penalty on me, disrupting my communications with my colleagues, friends and especially my political constituencies through Facebook and Messenger, interfering with the announcement of my book launch, adversely affecting the distribution of my book, causing serious damages to my moral and material interest, and the collective interest of the national democratic movement of the people in the Philippines.
Facebook has arbitrarily prevented me from and deprived me of access to my property in the Facebook account, including my writings, documents, songs, poems, videos, photos, communications with colleagues, friends and my political constituency. I have been robbed by Facebook of what belongs to me, and to my political community. I do not remember having ever surrendered ownership of the aforesaid property in whole or in part.
- As an individual and as a recognized leader of the national democratic movement, in my formal name of Jose Maria Sison and nickname Joma Sison, my democratic right and freedom of expression have been grossly violated by Facebook and I have suffered moral and material damage and I therefore demand compensation. Worst of all, Facebook has unlawfully acted against me in favour of its direct relationships with the Duterte regime in the Philippines, whose grave and systematic violations of human rights and scandalous corruption I have exposed and opposed in Facebook. In fact and effect, Facebook has a disproportionate impact on Philippine politics in favour of an oppressive and exploitative regime.
It is well-known in the Philippines, inside and outside the Facebook Community, that the National Task Force-Elcac and the Marcos and Duterte regime’s troll armies and ‘fake news” managers thereof have caused the initial blocking up to the disabling of my Facebook account. Facebook is now being widely criticized as an awesome instrument not only for superprofit-making but also for imperialist and fascist ideological and political regimentation. The people are therefore demanding that Facebook be under the collective control of its public users and builders.
- In addition to my demand for the return of my property as abovementioned and compensation for the moral and material damages inflicted by Facebook on me, I join the public clamour and demand for a future Facebook to be in the collective control of the people through a non-profit foundation whose board of directors is elected, not on the basis of stock ownership but on the basis of public interest in social media, by the users of Facebook who have been in fact its main and essential builders but whose collective efforts and results thereof have been misappropriated for private profit-making and ideological and political monopoly and censor culture by a clique of billionaires.
Jose Maria Sison
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Date: April 20, 2022