(UPDATE) Sison unperturbed by Dutch court order
By Veronica Uy
Posted date: June 06, 2008
MANILA, Philippines -- Self-exiled Filipino communist leader Jose Ma. Sison on
Friday said he was unperturbed by the Dutch court’s order giving prosecutors
the go-ahead to pursue inquiry into his alleged involvement in the killings of
two erstwhile comrades in the Philippine communist movement.
This as Sison and his lawyer Michiel Pestman derided as "more of the same
rubbish" the evidence presented by the prosecutors during the May 20
hearing of his complaint that the inquiry has been unnecessarily prolonged.
Sison, who has been living in the Netherlands since 1987, said the District
Court of The Hague only decided to allow the public prosecutor's office to
have more time to complete its investigation.
"The court acceded to the plea of the prosecution that it be allowed to
examine some materials seized on August 28, 2007 but not yet examined
by it since then and to possibly interrogate further witnesses," Sison said in
an e-mail to INQUIRER.net.
He said that only after the investigation can the court decide if there is
enough evidence to put him on trial.
"The District Court of The Hague has affirmed my position that since the
examining judge decided to close the preliminary investigation on 21 November
2007, the prosecution has not turned up any evidence to overturn the decision
of the Court of Appeal on October 3, 2007 declaring that there is no prima
facie evidence against me," he said.
Sison, 68, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines
and its military wing, the New People's Army (NPA), was arrested in August
2007 in his adopted town of Utrecht on suspicion of having ordered, from
the Netherlands, the murder of former NPA commanders Romulo Kintanar
and Arturo Tabara.
But in September, the district court of The Hague ordered that Sison be
freed "for lack of grave presumptions," a decision upheld in October by
the appellate court.
The public prosecutor's office closed the preliminary inquiry against Sison
in November last year, but informed him in January that it intended pursuing
The district court found on Thursday that while the prosecution's case file
still held insufficient evidence, the investigation was ongoing and should be
given time to unfold.
Meanwhile, Sison took a swipe at the Philippine government for allegedly
masterminding an assassination attempt on him.
"For the purpose of legal action, my lawyers are studying the failure of the
Dutch authorities to act promptly on the findings about the assassination
projects of the Philippine authorities," he said.
Sison was referring to the witnesses and documentary evidence the Dutch
prosecution office and police have turned up, showing that two assassination
teams were sent from the Philippines to the Netherlands to kill him between
1999 and 2001.
Dutch authorities should pursue this attempt on his life, Sison said, adding it
constitutes grave criminal acts and infringements of Dutch sovereignty. With
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