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On the Unjust Arrest, Continuing Detention and Torture of Prof. Jose Maria Sison
A Case of Dutch Imperialist Intervention and Repression and an
Affront to the Right of the Filipino People to Self-Determination

International League of Peoples’ Struggle - Hong Kong
1 September 2007

On the morning of August 28, Filipino political refugee Prof. Jose Maria Sison was unjustly arrested by the Dutch Police on trumped-up charges. Simultaneously, raids and ransackings were conducted on several houses of Filipinos in the Netherlands including the NDF International Information Office.

Immediately, freedom and peace-loving peoples of the world condemned in the harshest manner this grave violation of the rights of Prof. Sison and other Filipino progressives in the Netherlands.

Currently, Prof. Sison is languishing in solitary confinement and is suffering torture by the Dutch government.

This incident is a clear manifestation of Dutch imperialist intervention and repression as well as an affront to the right of the Filipino people to self-determination.

1.Why do we say that the charges are trumped up?

The Dutch police and prosecutors have fabricated charges against Prof. Sison of ordering the alleged murder of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara from the Netherlands. On the bases of these false charges, Prof. Sison was arrested in an entrapment operation and the raids of the offices and residences of other Filipinos in the Netherlands carried out.

However, the so-called charges are obviously trumped up:

(a)The charges are already included in a case that has been nullified and dismissed with finality by the Philippine Supreme Court in its decision last July 2, 2007. Together with 50 others, Prof. Sison has been exonerated and the case has been shown to be completely without basis and politically motivated.

(b)The specific charges have currently no corresponding cases in any Philippine court.

(c)Assuming that such charges are filed in Philippine courts, these would have to fall under the political offense of rebellion and not as a criminal offense which the Dutch authorities claim these to be.

Under what right and authority therefore does the Dutch government seek to intervene in the internal affairs of the Filipino people by prosecuting Prof. Jose Maria Sison? How can they utterly disregard Philippine Supreme Court decisions and choose to fabricate an offense where there is no corresponding criminal case in Philippine courts?

2.Why do we say that the charges are politically-motivated?

The US-Arroyo regime, through its National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Philippine National Police Deputy Director General Avelino Razon, and Secretary of the Department of Justice Raul Gonzales, has admitted that they have been helping the Dutch police since January this year in building the case against Prof. Sison. They have even admitted providing airfare and travel allowances to the accusers.

(a)This contradicts and belies the statement of the spokesperson of the Dutch Prosecutors’ Office, Wim de Bruin, that the filing of the case is exclusively a Dutch initiative.

(b)This clearly shows the conspiracy between the Dutch and Philippine governments to politically persecute Prof. Sison.

(c)The US government, the main author in the terrorist labeling of Prof. Sison and the revolutionary movement and number one supporter of the criminal and murderous Arroyo government, immediately volunteered to assist in the investigation and prosecution of Prof. Sison.

(d)This exposes their political agenda of attempting to pressure the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to capitulate to the Arroyo government across the negotiating table.

3.What are the economic interests of The Netherlands that prompted it to side with the US-Arroyo regime – the promoter of repression and state terrorism in the Philippines?

In exchange for allowing the Dutch government and multinational corporations the unhampered plunder of Philippine national resources, the US-Arroyo regime has managed to secure a deal with the Dutch authorities to persecute Prof. Sison.

(a)The Netherlands is the third largest trading partner and the second largest foreign investor in the country.

(b)The Netherlands maintains significant business interests in the Philippines in strategic industries including:

oil industry (Royal Dutch Shell),
petroleum trading, oil and gas exploration (Vitol Group),
consumer product brands in foods, beverages and personal care products (Unilever),
banking (ABN-AMRO),
insurance (AXA-Life),
coco coir export (Rinos B.V-Corion),
consumer electronics (Phillips),
retail industry (Makro),
solar energy (Shell Solar Philippines, Inc) among others

(c)The US-Arroyo regime has virtually turned over the gas reserves of Malampaya and the indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands into agricultural plantations to serve Dutch multinational corporations. Earlier this month Premier Oil was granted the right to drill an exploration well in the Ragay Gulf in the Bicol region. Premier has earmarked between $3.6 million and $9.6 million to drill its first exploration well by July-September 2007.

4.Why do we say that the case of Prof. Sison is a case of Dutch imperialist intervention?

With the case of Prof. Sison, the Dutch authorities arrogantly impose their own judicial system and jurisprudence over that of the Philippines. They completely disregard Philippine Supreme Court decisions and the fact that there are no cases in any Philippine court against Prof. Sison for the deaths of Kintanar and Tabara. The political persecution of Prof. Sison by the Dutch government is an arrogant display of superiority over the Philippine judicial system and jurisprudence.

This infringes on Philippine sovereignty and clearly meddles with the internal affairs of the Philippines. The arrest, continued detention and torture of Prof. Sison, the chief political consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, has also effectively terminated the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

The Dutch government is reliving its colonial past when it decided to meddle in Philippine affairs with the political persecution of Prof. Sison. This the Dutch government does to protect and advance their economic interests in the Philippines.

This is reminiscent of the era of Dutch colonialism when the Dutch East Indies Company expanded its hegemony in Asia, especially Indonesia, and Latin America (Suriname and the Dutch Antilles).

In its interventionist actions, the Dutch government is violating the right of the Filipino people to self-determination.

It is hypocritical for the Dutch government to attack the historical and inherent right of peoples, particularly the Filipino people, to struggle against an illegitimate, corrupt, brutal and tyrannical regime and to determine their own economic, social, political and cultural development free from any foreign control and interference.

We would beg to ask where the House of Orange (The Netherlands) would be if the Dutch people had not asserted the same right to rebel against Spanish colonial rule? Where would The Netherlands be if the Dutch people did not forcefully remove by armed struggle the yoke of Spanish rule?

The hypocrisy of the Dutch government towards human rights and the rights of peoples betrays the current interventionist policies of this imperialist state.

5.Why do we say that the unjust arrest of Prof. Sison and the ransacking of the residences and offices of Filipino progressives in the Netherlands is a clear case of repression?
Instead of dragging the Arroyo government into court for its war crimes and crimes against humanity, the Dutch authorities chose to persecute Prof. Sison, a patriot and exceptional freedom fighter for cause of the Filipino working class and people.

By aligning itself with the murderous and criminal Arroyo regime which masterminded the more than 800 extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, the enforced disappearances of hundreds more and the forced displacement of millions of Filipinos from their communities, the Dutch government has clearly taken the side of state terrorism.

Particularly in the case of Prof. Sison and his colleagues,

(a)In true blue Gestapo fashion, the Dutch police arrested Prof. Sison and conducted the raids. The police used a ruse to take Prof. Sison into custody. Also during the raids, the raiding team in some cases, did not show any search warrant and forced their entry into the houses by breaking the doors even if people were inside. In some of the houses that were raided, only minors were present.

(b)Julie de Lima Sison, wife of Sison, said at around 9:30 am last Aug. 28, the Dutch police in plainclothes did not even ring or knock, but instead broke down their front door. She was reportedly asked to sit in one corner of their house while the police carted away their computers, documents, CDs, and other files. The search lasted until early evening. She sustained bruises because of manhandling.

(c)Simultaneous with Joma’s arrest and the search on his house, the NDF International Information Office and several other houses of Filipinos in Utrecht, were raided. The Dutch police confiscated computers, laptops, papers, diskettes, CD Roms, and DVDs.

6.Why do we say that Prof. Sison is suffering torture?

(a)His lawyer, Michiel Pestman, said that he is being kept in solitary confinement, denied visits from his wife, denied warm clothing, denied access to his medicines and access to his own doctor, denied access to newspapers and TV.

(b)Julie De Lima, wife of Professor Sison, tried to see him last Aug. 30 but was denied. She said she also brought some prescription medicines and warm clothes, but prison authorities said these were not allowed.

(c)Professor Sison is being detained at the National Penitentiary in Scheveningen, a facility which was used by the Nazis during World War II to imprison and torture Dutch resistance fighters.

(d)Despite the weak evidence presented by the Dutch prosecutor in the remand hearing in The Hague last Aug. 31, the Dutch judge extended the detention of Professor Sison to 14 more days.

Even when the case against Prof. Sison is still in the stage of being heard and investigated, the Dutch government is determined to violate his basic rights and is treating him torturously. This is a testimony to the hypocrisy of the Dutch government’s adherence to human rights and the rule of law.

7.Why do we say that the most just demand is to immediately and unconditionally release Prof. Jose Maria Sison?

(a)The case against him is based on trumped up charges and is politically-motivated.

(b)There is a conspiracy by the Dutch and Philippine governments to persecute Prof. Sison politically.

(c)The persecution of Sison through the use of judicial processes exposes the rottenness and corruption of the Dutch justice and political system.

(d)The unjust arrest shows Dutch repression. The Dutch authorities are now torturing Prof. Sison.

(e)The conspiracy of persecution is a concrete manifestation of Dutch imperialist intervention and repression and is an affront to the right of the Filipino people to self-determination.

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