Council of the European Union Should Stop
Persecuting Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Issued by International DEFEND Committee
15 July 2007
For more than four years already, the Council of the European Union has
been ruthlessly persecuting Prof. Jose Maria Sison by serially and indefinitely
including him on the "terrorist" blacklist and subjecting him to harsh
sanctions which are not at all temporary restrictive measures but are in
fact prolonged punitive measures in violation of his human rights and
The Council has made the blanket charge of terrorism against Prof. Sison
but has not cited against him any specific act of terrorism. It cannot cite
any such act because in fact Prof. Sison has never committed any kind
of criminal offense within the jurisdiction of the European Union or
The false and unsubstantiated blanket charge of terrorism against Prof.
Sison originates from the Philippine and US governments. It is a politically
motivated charge that has been calculated to pressure the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in its peace negotiations with
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in violation of
The Hague Joint Declaration.
The political motivation of the false charge has been repeatedly expressed
by GRP officials, especially by the late Foreign Secretary Blas Ople and
National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales. They have publicly admitted
that the charge of terrorism would be withdrawn as soon as the NDFP
capitulated by entering into a permanent ceasefire without addressing
the roots of the armed conflict in the Philippines. However, the unjust
and unfounded charge of terrorism has only served to paralyze the peace
The Council of the European Union has allowed itself to be an instrument
of political persecution against Prof. Sison. It has become the purveyor of
a politically motivated and juridically baseless charge of terrorism. The
Council has become an unwitting factor in upsetting and paralyzing the
GRP-NDFP peace negotiations despite the fact that the European Parliament
has endorsed and supported the negotiations repeatedly in its resolutions.
The falsity of the blanket charge of terrorism against Prof. Sison is evidenced
by the fact that the Council desperately and wrongfully misrepresents him
as a "terrorist" by merely referring to him as chairman of the Communist Party
of the Philippines and head of the New People's Army and by distorting the
judgments of the Dutch State Council or Raad van State and the Law Unity
Chamber or Rechtseenheidkamer, both of which recognize him as a political
refugee under Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention.
In Philippine jurisprudence, there is the Hernandez political offense doctrine
which makes the CPP and NPA liable for simple rebellion and not for terrorism.
The Council of the European Union has kept itself ignorant of said doctrine
and allowed itself to be manipulated by the Philippine and US governments
in transforming the charge of rebellion in the Philippines into a charge of
terrorism in the European Union. In the process, it has attacked the rights
of free speech and free association of Prof. Sison who is being criminalized
as a "terrorist" through the mere accusation that he is the CPP chairman.
The 23 April 2007 letter of the Council to Prof. Sison recycling the false
claims already presented against him before the ECFI in the last more than
four years does not pass for a statement of reasons or motivations for
blacklisting him. Such false claims have already been debunked in the
course of ECFI proceedings from 2003 to 2006. Once more on 22 May
2007 Prof. Sison through counsel has amply made observations to expose
the falsity of the claims against him. And yet the Council proceeded to
include him in the blacklist on 28 June 2007.
It is a matter of official record and public knowledge that Prof. Jose Maria
Sison has been repeatedly cleared of criminal charges by no less than the
Philippine government. He was cleared of the charges of subversion and
rebellion when he was released from military detention in 1986 soon after
the fall of the Marcos dictatorship. The charge of subversion made against
him in 1988 was nullified in 1992.
The belated 1991 charge of multiple murder arising from the Marcos-instigated
Plaza Miranda bombing incident in 1971 was dismissed in 1994 by resolution
of the Manila prosecutors' office as something based on sheer speculation.
And yet the Dutch government has maintained the myth that Prof Sison is
criminally liable for terrorism and contacts with terrorist organizations in denying
him legal admission and residence as a recognized political refugee in The
Since 1992 the Philippine government has not leveled any valid criminal
charge against Prof. Sison. In 1998 the secretary of justice of the Philippine
government issued a certification that there was no pending criminal charge
against him. But in 2003 the Arroyo resumed hurling politically-motivated
accusations against him in the mass media. In 2006, it formally charged him
with rebellion together with 50 other respondents, supposedly from the
time of the founding of the CPP and NPA to the present. But the Supreme
Court of the Philippines ruled on 2 July 2007 to invalidate this charge of
rebellion and the testimonies and documents presented as evidence.
So far, there is no new valid criminal charge of rebellion against Prof. Sison.
And certainly there can yet be no valid charge of terrorism against him
because the newly-enacted Anti-Terror Act (Human Security Act of 2007)
is to take effect only today and is facing opposition from the people and
constitutional experts as a fascist violation of the Bill of Rights. But the
Dutch government and the Council of the European Union have maintained
the lie since 2002 that he is liable for terrorism.
We are alarmed by public pronouncements of Philippine and Dutch
government officials that the Council of the European Union will simply
ignore the 11 July 2007 judgment of the ECFI in favor of Prof. Sison and
continue to blacklist him as a "terrorist" and subject him to sanctions
indefinitely. Top officials of the Arroyo regime, especially National Security
Adviser Norberto Gonzales, have publicly vowed to keep Prof. Sison in the
We demand that the Council of the European Union stop persecuting
Prof. Sison. It must respect the letter and spirit, the implications and
consequences of the ECFI judgment. This clearly rules that the Council
must respect the right of Prof. Sison to defense, that it must state the
reasons for blacklisting him and that it must afford all opportunities for
judicial protection from the false blanket charge of terrorism.
The least that the Council can do in order to stop the persecution of
Prof. Sison and show respect to the ECFI judgment is to remove his
name immediately from the "terrorist" blacklist. The Council of the European
Union has unjustly persecuted and punished Prof. Sison for more than four
years by blacklisting him and subjecting him to moral and material damages.
The rendering of justice to him is long overdue. ###
For more information:
Ruth de Leon
Telephone Nos.: 00-31-30-8895306