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Statement of Initiative Committee to Defend
Filipinos Demonized by U.S. as "Terrorists"

By the Initiative Committee to Defend Filipino Progressives in Europe
28 August 2002

We, the undersigned, hereby constitute ourselves into an Initiative Committee to Defend Filipino Progressives in Europe (INCODEFPE), particularly those who support the Filipino people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy but who are being demonized as terrorists by US authorities.

In accordance with executive agreements, the US and European governments are collaborating to undertake repressive measures against those arbitrarily designated by the US State Department as "terrorists". They are now threatening and actually persecuting Filipino progressives who live in Europe.

We announce hereunder the objectives that we wish to achieve:

  1. To carry out an information and education campaign for the purpose of defending the democratic rights of the aforementioned Filipinos by every possible means and opposing those forces that threaten and persecute them,
  2. To explain and propagate the noble and just cause of the Filipino people and Filipino progressives abroad for national liberation and democracy against foreign and feudal domination,
  3. To denounce and frustrate the US scheme to scuttle the peace negotiations of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) by designating as terrorists and thereby criminalizing the negotiators, consultants and staffers of the NDFP,
  4. To expose and oppose the strategic plan of the US to tighten its all-round control over the Philippines, introduce more US military forces, re-establish US military bases and thereby enhance US hegemony over East Asia and the whole world.
  5. To cooperate and act in solidarity with all people and forces in Europe that defend the revolutionary parties, organizations and movements that are now being misrepresented for attack as terrorists by the US and European governments, and
  6. To promote and help develop the solidarity and cooperation of the entire people of the world against the unbridled greed and terror unleashed by imperialism and all reaction.

Our focus is on defending the democratic rights of Filipino progressives who are now being persecuted in Europe, especially in the Netherlands. At the same time, we are ever ready to unite and work with all other forces fighting for a new and better world.

Unjust US Government Actions Against the CPP, NPA and NDFP

The Communist Party of the. Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA), together with some fifteen other Philippine organizations, are represented in Europe by the National Democrat Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

Since 1992, the Dutch, Belgian and Norwegian governments have facilitated these peace negotiations. These have already resulted in the mutual approval of the GRP and NDFP of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). And it is the NDFP, especially the CPP and NPA, that has been demanding the implementation of this agreement.

Even prior to CARHRIHL, the CPP and NPA have been bound by the bill of rights in the Guide for Establishing the People’s Government, the NPA Rules of Discipline and the NDFP Unilateral Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions and Protocol I. It is absolutely clear that the CPP and NPA are highly responsible political forces that fight for national liberation and democracy and that conform to the international standards of human rights and humanitarian law.

But despite the fact that the CPP and NPA are not terrorist organizations, the US has maliciously designated them as such since August 9, 2002 and has put them together with Prof. Jose Maria Sison, CPP founding chairman and NDFP chief political consultant, in a list of organizations and individuals whose assets are made subject to freezing by the US and its allied states since 12 August 2002. We shall point out later other repressive measures in store for Filipino progressives.

The designation of the CPP and NPA as "terrorist" organizations jibes with the Macapagal regime’s declaration of all-out war against the national democratic movement in the Philippines. Not only the forces within the NDFP but also such legal formations as the political party Bayan Muna and the organizations within the multisectoral alliance BAYAN are being attacked by state terrorism. Leaders of these organizations are now being demonized in the mass media and street posters to prepare further vicious attacks on their persons.

The US is specially interested in pushing the Netherlands and other European governments to apply repressive measures against suspected CPP members in the NDFP in order to break up the ongoing GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, even if such measures and intended results violate the 1997 and 1999 resolutions of the European Parliament endorsing and supporting said peace negotiations and likewise the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees for the negotiators, consultants and staffers of both sides.

The US is telling the European governments that the witchhunt it has launched and extended to Europe against Filipino progressives is an important part of its "global war on terrorism". In fact, what the US wants is to destroy the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, being facilitated by European governments, in order to escalate military intervention and in due time to re-establish US military bases in the Philippines to enhance its hegemony in East Asia.

Repressive Measures and Threats Against Progressive Filipinos

As already announced by the authorities in Washington, Manila and The Hague, the Dutch government has agreed with the US to apply repressive measures and threats against progressive Filipinos based in the Netherlands, who are publicly known or suspected to be associated with the NDFP. The US is obviously trying to capitalize on the recent election of what it considers a pro-US, Rightist and anti-immigrant Dutch government.

The Dutch government has announced that it has taken the lead in Europe in adopting the repressive measures and threats desired by the US. It is pushing the inclusion of the CPP, NPA, Prof. Jose Maria Sison and other Filipino individuals in the terrorist list of the European Union and it is taking the steps towards the freezing of the bank accounts of Filipino organizations and individuals.

It is not only the state authorities that are applying repressive executive agreements with the US to persecute the Filipino progressives. Reactionary Dutch politicians and publicists are also stridently claiming that "thirty" Filipinos in Utrecht, Netherlands are "terrorists" and are trying to incite public opinion against them. Some of these Filipinos are already Dutch citizens.

The most malicious propaganda in the various mass media is directed against Prof. Jose Maria Sison. The campaign to defame him is intended to terrorize the NDFP and the Filipino community, especially the Filipino progressives. A climate of fear is already being generated to intimidate them.

Let us cite the repressive measures and threats that are now causing serious concern not only among Filipino progressives but also in Filipino communities.

  1. Filipinos, who are vilified as "terrorists", are subjected to surveillance of their persons, their homes, vehicles, telephones and computers, and are thereby put under harassment and threats.
  2. The Dutch and other European authorities are already poised to order raids on certain homes and offices in order to take away papers and equipment and make life or work difficult or impossible for the targeted Filipinos.
  3. Official propaganda has already begun to drum up the freezing of bank accounts in order to conjure the illusion that Filipino "terrorists" have big bank accounts, whereas in fact they are poised to freeze the small bank accounts of Filipino organizations and individuals.
  4. The lawful free movement of Filipinos is being violated and hampered by delays in the issuance of visa and return visa and by bullying of Filipinos by Dutch immigration authorities.
  5. The US, Manila and Dutch authorities are trying to influence the European Court of Human Rights to deny the appeal of Prof. Jose Maria Sison for the grant of asylum and the permit to reside in the Netherlands.
  6. Known agents of the aforementioned authorities are spreading the story in the Filipino community that the US government, with the cooperation of the Dutch government, can grab Prof. Sison at any time because he is a "terrorist" against the US. This is intended to "stigmatize and isolate" him and to prepare the way for his extradition to the US ala Noriega of Panama.
  7. There is a distinct possibility that upon the complaint of the US and its request for extradition the Dutch authorities raid the home of Prof. Sison, seize all his papers and computer equipment and detain him in the Netherlands while a court case concerning his detention is pending.
  8. Unidentified persons have also phoned the NDFP office to give the reminder that US president Bush has lifted the ban on covert operations of the Central Intelligence Agency to assassinate personalities like Prof. Sison.

All the above have the effect of sabotaging the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in Europe and violate the resolutions of the European Parliament endorsing and supporting these negotiations. They are coordinated with the Macapagal regime’s all-out war policy and with the prospective invasion of the Philippines by US military forces. Some 7000 to 8000 US troops are expected to land there in October 2002.

What Can Be Done in the Campaign

  1. Produce information and education materials for dissemination among the people directly or through the mass media, linking the campaign to their concrete situation and struggles.
  2. Collect signatures from the people on petitions and letters.
  3. Hold public meetings to discuss the issues.
  4. Organize protest mass actions.
  5. Convene forums and seminars to feature experts and mass activists.
  6. Undertake lobby work in parliament and seek support from various parties.
  7. Use a website, email notices and telephone brigades for quick communications.
  8. Raise funds for the campaign by producing materials for sale and for asking donations.
  9. Create initiative committees wherever possible to replicate the Initiative Committee at lower levels.
  10. Develop cooperation in all possible activities with organizations and individuals supporting those falsely accused of terrorism and opposing state terrorism and the wars of the imperialists.

Machinery to Implement the Above

The Initiative Committee has created and appointed a secretariat based in The Netherlands to carry out work for the committee on a daily basis. The organizations represented in the Initiative Committee and those to be subsequently drawn to the campaign shall undertake such tasks as they are willing and capable of assuming and shall be followed up and coordinated by the secretariat, acting under the mandate of the Initiative Committee.

Signatories:

Theo Droog, Nederlands-Filipijnse Solidariteitsbeweging (NFS)

Marco Verhagen, Nederlands-Filipijnse Solidariteitsbeweging (NFS)

Malu Villanueva, Filipino Refugees in The Netherlands (FREN)

Rev. Cesar Taguba, Bayan International

Grace Punongbayan, Migrante Europe

Maitet Ledesma, Pinay sa Holland

Anne Verzijl, Organization for the Protection of Immigrants and Migrants in Europe, PRIME

Wim van Wijk, Rotterdam Indonesie Solidariteits Komitee (RISK)

Dr. Rita Vanobberghen, Co-Author of KASAMA

Dr. Bert de Belder, Co-Author of KASAMA

Els van der Sypt, Filippijnengroepen Belgie (FGB)

Britt Destaerke, Filippijnengroepen Belgie (FGB)

Dr. Anne van Mackelenbergh, People’s Rights Watch (PRW)

Dan Borjal, International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS)-Netherlands

Dundar Gurses, International Association of Peoples’ Lawyers (IAPL)

Hans Krikke, Author and Journalist

Wil van der Klift, Member of the Board, Latin American Center of The Hague

Darmini, Aksi Setiakawan

Dr. Ernst Stern, Member, Liga voor de Rechten van de Mens-Nederland and Member, International Service for Human Rights

Address:

INCODEFPE
Postbus 15687
1001 ND Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Email: defenddemrights@yahoo.com
Telephone: 31-30-2368722




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