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Joma Sison Attacks Anti-Terror Law

By Loui Galicia
ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau
20 July 2007

Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison berated President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the Human Security Act of 2007 which he calls overbearing and oppressive, reported ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau.

Sison said the Anti-Terror Law is dangerous because its enforcers will enjoy limitless freedom to search the private life of an individual.

"Yung pang-aapi pwedeng mag-umpisa sa surveillance. Uungkatin, pakikialaman lahat ng private na affairs mo. Tapos ungkatin yung iyong bank accounts. Masilipan ka ng konti, pakikialaman ka na. Puwede ka pang kikilan ng mga intelligence people, intelligence units (Oppression can start with surveillance. All your private affairs will be interfered with. Then your bank accounts will be looked into. A small mistake can cause you're life to be interfered in. And intelligence people, intelligence units can even extort from you)," Sison said.

He told ABS-CBN's Balitang Europe that the consequences, based on his experience, are inhumane.

"So and then i-poproscribe ka. Organization, political party or individual. I-poproscribe, blacklist, tulad ng sa akin. Me consequences yan tulad ng sanctions, freezing of bank accounts. And then ganito, three days without warrant of arrest na ikulong ka, pwede ka nang pilipitin para kunan ka ng dahilan na naman para ilagay ka na indefinitely sa kulungan (You will be proscribed - organization, political party or individual. You will be blacklisted just as what happened to me. And then you may be detained for three days without a warrant of arrest, and they can put intense pressure to obtain any reason to detain you indefinitely)," Sison said.

He has blamed the Arroyo government for branding him as a terrorist and claims that this government initiated the request to US President George Bush's administration to put him on the blacklist, or on the list of Foreign Terror Organization (FTO).

He asserts that there is no crime of terrorism in the Philippines and that the revolutionaries are only charged with rebellion, and since terrorism is not bailable, the Anti-Terror Law will result in a chain of oppressive acts.

He finds the law far worse than the Republic Act (RA) 1700 or Anti-Subversion Law which outlawed the Communist Party of the Philippines, which he founded. RA 1700 has been repealed.

"Ang mangingibabaw eh mga militar lalo na yung nasa intelligence. Itong si Gloria, pasinto-sinto ng militar. Biro mo yung prosecutor na umasikaso sa military officers na nag-whistle blow, na nag-reveal nung kinalaman ng militar sa abduction ni Jonas Burgos, pina-pull out. Siya pala ang nag-utos eh (The military will be on top, especially those in intelligence [units]. Gloria is being drawn by the military. Imagine the prosecutor investigating military officers who blew the whistle, who revealed their knowledge on the abduction of Jonas Burgos, [the prosecutor] was pulled out. She was the one who ordered [the pull out])," Sison said.

He holds Mrs. Arroyo, on the principle of command responsibility, responsible for all the cruelties that are happening in the Philippines.

Sison warns that his latest victory against the Council of the European Union will provide courage to those who fear that they will suffer the same fate as him.

"Ang judgment na to eh malaking sandata para lumaban sa mga patuloy na umaapi sa akin. Hindi ko pinapalagay na tagumpay ko itong mag-isa kungdi tagumpay ng sambayanan, partikular sa mga tao na nangangamba na mapatawan ng ganitong pang-aapi (This judgment is a potent weapon to fight those who oppress me. I don't consider it as my victory alone but the people's victory especially to the people who fear they may suffer the same oppression)," he said.

Sison: Arroyo not interested in GRP-NDF talks

Separately, Sison issued Friday a press statement enumerating four clear signals that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) under Mrs. Arroyo is not really interested in resuming the formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Panel.

In a statement, Sison said that firstly, the extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, forced displacement of millions of people and other human rights violations by the GRP military, police and death squads continue unabated.

He said that the Arroyo regime remains cold to the findings and recommendations by the United Nations special rapporteurs, human-rights organizations, churches and the Supreme Court-initiated summit and instead has implemented the Anti-Terrorism Act which is aimed at killing the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

Secondly, the GRP, through cabinet members Eduardo Ermita and Norberto Gonzales and Armed Forces' Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon has demanded the NDFP to yield to a three-year ceasefire which only diverts attention from the urgent necessity of addressing the roots of the armed conflict through social, economic and political reforms.

Thirdly, Sison points out that the GRP continuously insinuates that it is being compelled by the NDFP to demand to the US and other foreign governments to remove the CPP, the NPA and Sison from the terrorist blacklist.

All that the NDFP demands is for the GRP and NDFP to make a joint statement against the "terrorist" listing, stated Sison.

Lastly, Sison pointed that the GRP is demanding through Rep. Antonio Cuenco that he return to the Philippines in order to head the negotiations of the NDFP with the GRP in Manila.

Such a demand, Sison stated, is calculated to destroy the longstanding agreement to hold the peace negotiations in a foreign neutral venue and other agreements as embodied in The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees.


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