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On the General Amnesty, Peace Negotiations,
Human Security Act and Summit of the Supreme Court


Interview by Pinoy Weeky
With Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
3 July 2007

Pinoy Weekly (PW): Good Day! What is your opinion on the proposed general amnesty of the Arroyo's government for all those labeled as "enemies" of the state?

Jose Maria Sison (JMS): The regime is just pretending to propose the general amnesty to show that it is in a high moral and political position. In truth, the regime is immoral and an enemy of the Filipino people because it is treasonous and a puppet of the imperialists, corrupt and exploitative, cruel, it engages in state terrorism and bloody violations of human rights.

The posturing of the regime that it is ready to grant general amnesty is an insidious preparation for the implementation of the Human Security Act or Anti-Terror Law. It's as if Ermita, as Torquemada of the Anti-Terrorist Council, is saying that all the oppositionists should now surrender to the Arroyo regime before it brings down the full force of the Anti-Terror Law against them.

PW: What can you say about the reported trip of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza to Norway to study the possibility of resuming peace negotiations between the NDFP and the GRP?

JMS: The trip of Gonzales and Dureza to Oslo was just foolishness. They just repeated the same old tune of the Arroyo regime that the revolutionary forces should surrender and lay down their arms under the guise of a ceasefire and forget all about the root causes of the armed revolution.

The GRP's line of demanding the surrender and pacification of the revolutionary forces is a violation of The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 and the succeeding agreements between the NDFP and the GRP. There should be economic and political reforms to solve the root problems that brought about the armed revolution of the toiling masses and entire people.

PW: What is your reaction to the statement of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita that the propaganda of those in the left is creating a bad image of the Arroyo administration.

JMS: The blatant crimes of the regime and its military and police minions against human rights, such as the killings and abductions of legal progressive activists and the forced evacuation of communities, are the cause for the ugly image of the regime throughout the world. The propaganda of the progressives is not the cause.

Because of these flagrant and systematic violations of human rights, Amnesty International, the churches, human rights organizations, UN special rapporteurs and several governments have been moved to criticize the regime.

PW: Lastly, within a few days the Human Security Law would be officially implemented. What can you say about this in connection with the incidents of continuing political repression and killings of activists? In relation, what is your opinion on the Supreme Court's proposal to hold a summit on extra-judicial killings?

JMS: The Human Security Act (Anti-Terror Law) will be a license for the US and Arroyo regime to further increase and expand even its violations of human rights. The regime will use this license to suppress the broad opposition by listing parties, organizations and progressive leaders as so-called terrorists, impose punitive sanctions, violate democratic rights and fabricate charges against revolutionary forces and the legal opposition. The Act will also be used by the US as a license to increase and expand its bloody intervention and encroachment on the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines.

Regarding the summit being proposed by the Supreme Court, the fundamental human rights must be upheld. The anti-democratic and fascist character and the evil consequences of the Human Security Act must be exposed. It must be made clear how the principle of command responsibility, from the commander-in-chief to the lowest level of the military, can be applied to hold military and police officers accountable for the violations of human rights in their area of responsibility when there is direct and/or circumstantial evidence and there is a pattern of criminal activity. It is very obvious that the regime is the mastermind of the violations of human rights through its Cabinet Oversight Committee-Internal Security and Anti-Terror Task Force headed by Eduardo Ermita and Norberto Gonzales.

In many cases, there is no prompt administrative suspension of butchers like General Palparan. Instead, the regime praises them. It wants to stop the Senate from investigating human rights violations. According to the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules to protect human rights. It can require the use of the principle of command responsibility to stop human rights violations. It can fully enable Congress to investigate human rights violations. The Supreme Court itself can hold in contempt of court those officials who would not give or refuse to give the information pertinent to human rights violations or refuse to undertake any action against those who violate human rights.

PW: Thank you.


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