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GRP Justice Secretary Overreaches From Padre Faura and Exposes to the World his Ignorance of the Law

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Chairperson, International League of Peoples' Struggle
20 December 2005

In the name of the Justice Department of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the recklessly loquacious Secretary Raul Gonzalez is overreaching by overextending the presumed authority of his office or his jurisdiction over criminal prosecutions to lands beyond Philippines shores. He would have been ridiculous and probably even comical were it not so for his show of arrogance and malice.

I was informed that the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) International Office here in the Netherlands had found out that an improperly addressed envelope (postmarked Philippines December 5, 2005) had been perfunctorily slid into its mail slot on December 20, 2005.

The envelope turned out to contain a resolution dated 1 December 2005 from Gonzalez including me among those being charged as a result of the punishment by the New People's Army (NPA) of the universally notorious human rights violator and long-detested Marcos-time torturer Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo in June 12, 2001.

This contrived document had been preceded by a trial and conviction by publicity a few days before Gonzalez went to town announcing my inclusion in the information for murders and frustrated murder under the GRP legal system. It was crudely sent to trick me and vainly to trap me into being estopped from questioning the highly dubious legal processes and jurisdiction of the GRP.

This resolution, which modifies an earlier one issued way back 2003 that rightfully excluded me, is not only obviously politically-motivated and malicious but is also old hat. It betrays again the legendary ignorance of basic legal principles by Gonzalez who is ever yelping and salivating to please his master Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the US imperialists in possible collaboration with Dutch authorities.

It is absolutely anomalous that, while the resolution concedes that jurisdiction over my person cannot be acquired, the GRP nonetheless would altogether disregard the general principle that criminal jurisdiction is territorial. It cannot extend to places outside the Philippines, save in well-defined exceptions in Philippine statute books. Not any of the exceptions applies to me. Gonzalez also forgets that criminal liability, if any, is personal and cannot attach through mere association, real or imaginary.

Moreover, he does not respect the fact that I am protected by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits my being delivered to any country where I am at risk of being subjected to torture or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. Still further, he stupidly disregards the fact that there is no extradition treaty between the Philippines and The Netherlands.

Thus, my Filipino and Dutch lawyers have advised me that the sending of the document in question does not and cannot have any valid juridical effect at all. It is an open disregard of basic fair play and due process. And it is very dangerous that anybody who dissents against the GRP, fights for national liberation and democracy and even ordinary people can be subjected to such harassment suits without the benefit of effectively defending themselves.

To circumvent this basic rule on jurisdiction, the GRP DOJ would brazenly dangle a Damocles' sword by saying that my absence in the Philippines would not stop my inclusion in a charge for something that happened while I was outside the Philippines. It lamely explains that "it merely puts compulsory processes against me on hold and that the criminal charge can and should stand to await the eventual acquisition of jurisdiction over me."

I have consistently stated as a matter of fact that the leadership of the people's revolutionary movement is in the Philippines. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the national command of the New People's Army are in the Philippines. But the DOJ and Gonzalez conclude without any credible and admissible evidence that I am supposedly the person who directed the punishment of Aguinaldo.

The CPP and NPA and the revolutionary movement can very well defend their decisions and actions in rendering revolutionary justice and exercising political power. With regards to me, an unemployed teacher and refugee, I have already instructed my counsel Justice Romeo T. Capulong and my other Philippine lawyers to take care of this nuisance suit against me with dispatch. They can competently represent my interest and protect my rights. There is absolutely no "probable cause" to hold me responsible for this case to start with.

It will be well for Gonzalez to have a quick refresher in the nearest law school or attend the next bar review classes or continuing legal education to save himself from the embarrassment he brings to himself and his office. He accuses General Fortunato Abat of senility but he might be the one already afflicted by it.

I continue to rely on the wise and considered advice of my Philippine, American and European lawyers to traverse this continuing violation of my basic democratic rights and to fight this apparently well-laid out scheme for my eventual rendition to the United States or to any of its secret torture chambers in one of its satellite states even as I am legally well protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and the Refugee Convention. ###

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