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International Campaign For Jose Maria Sison

Arm The Spirit (ats@locust.cic.net)
Sun, 11 Aug 96 07:21:33 -0700
International Campaign For The Sison Family

July 31, 1996

We are inviting you and your friends to join our protest against the decision of the Dutch Ministry of Justice of June 4, 1996, ordering the expulsion of asylum-seeker Professor Jose Maria Sison and his family. The Sisons have been ordered to leave the Netherlands within four (4) weeks from July 18, ending on August 15, 1996, when the expulsion is to be carried out. In the spirit of solidarity, we are requesting you to participate in our International Campaign For The Sison Family by:

1. Signing and mailing the enclosed "Appeal for the Grant of Asylum to Prof. Sison and Family". Please reproduce the appeal and collect more signatures.

2. Organizing a picket in front of the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country, preferably on August 13 or 14. Your picket will be part of an internationally coordinated Day Of Protest, which we expect to have significant impact on the Dutch government.

3. Fund raising for the solidarity fund for the Sison Asylum Campaign. Your donation will help sustain our asylum campaign. Please remit your donations to:

Stichting Piglas-Bayan
t.a.v. Sison Solidarity Fund
Giro 672.77.88
Amersfoort, The Netherlands

4. Organizing a "Committee for the Sison Asylum Campaign". Through this committee we can draw in more organizations, movements, institutions, parties and individuals to participate in our campaign in a planned and sustained way.

5. Writing articles for newspapers in your country about our campaign. Prof. Sison and his lawyer are available for interviews. You can contact Prof. Sison through telephone number +31-30-2870249 or +31-30-2310431; and his lawyer Robert van As, tel. + 31-30-6032922.

Our campaign makes the following calls:

Stop The Expulsion Of The Sison Family!
Political Asylum For The Sison Family Now!
Protect And Advance The Rights Of All Political Refugees!
Justice For The Sison Family And All Political Refugees Now!
Clinton, Ramos - Keep Out Of The Sison Asylum Case!
Stop The U.S.-Ramos Terrorism Against The Filipino People!
No To The Sacrifice Of The Sisons' Rights For Dutch TNC Profits In The Philippines!

With the firm determination of the Sison family to struggle for their rights, with the justness of their cause and with our solidarity, we are confident of the victory of our campaign! Please keep us informed of whatever actions you have taken in response to our solidarity call.

Truly yours,
Cesar T. Taguba
Coordinator, International Campaign For The Sison Family

International Campaign For The Sison Family
P.O. Box 2041
3800 Amersfoort
The Netherlands
Tel: +31-30-2368722 (from August 6-9 only) or Tel/Fax
+31-33-4723084.

You may also contact Ms. M.M. Castillo of FREN (Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands), Tel: +31-30-2368722 and Fax: +31-30-2322989.

We can be reached by email at: ndf@antenna.nl

Background Info On Jose Maria Sison And Family

Prof. Jose Maria Sison was born in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur on February 8, 1938. He is married to Julieta de Lima. They are living in The Netherlands at the moment together with their 14-year old son, Jasm. The following is a chronology of the political asylum case of Sison:

1987-1988: University lecture tour in Western Europe.

September 1988: False charges against Sison under the Anti-Subversion Law in the Philippines as pretext of Aquino and the military for the cancellation of his Philippine passport while he was in The Netherlands.

October 1988: Sison applied for political asylum in The Netherlands.

July 1989: One million pesos offered by the Manila government for the head of Sison and 500,000 pesos for that of his wife who did not face any kind of charge. Nieuwe Revu journalist Ruigrok offered U.S. $200,000 by 2 AFP colonels to bring JMS to RP Embassy in The Hague.

July 13, 1990: First negative decision of the Dutch Justice Ministry. An appeal was made against this decision.

December 17, 1992: First favorable decision of the Raad van State (Council of State, the highest administrative court in The Netherlands), nullifying the decision of the Justice Ministry. At around this time, the Anti-Subversion Law was repealed and the charge against Sison became legally baseless.

November 1994: Resolution by prosecutors in the Philippines to dismiss the murder charge made against Sison in 1991 against Sison (related to the Plaza Miranda bombing of 1971). The prosecutors decided that the charge was based on pure speculation.

March 3, 1993: Second negative decision of the Dutch Justice Ministry. Another appeal was made.

February 21, 1995: Second favorable decision of the Raad van State, deciding the following:

1. That Sison is a political refugee with a well-grounded fear of persecution in the sense of the Refugee Treaty of Geneva.

2. That he cannot be sent to the Philippines and needs protection under Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

May 8, 1996: Alien Court's decison to nullify the argument of the Dutch justice ministry that it stood by its 1990 decision and to compel the Justice Ministry to make a new decision.

June 4, 1996: Third negative decision of the Justice Ministry.

July 18, 1996: Negative decision of Justice Ministry with an expulsion order within four weeks from July 18, unless an appeal is made before August 15.

-----

International Campaign For The Sison Family

August 9, 1996

Dear Friend(s),
We are very pleased with the enthusiastic response we are receiving for the International Campaign for the Sison Family in their struggle to assert their right to political asylum in the Netherlands.
As of today, the collection of signatures for the "Appeal for the Grant of Asylum to Prof. Jose Maria Sison and Family", fund-raising and, above all, protest actions on August 13 and 14, are being done and planned. We are informed that pickets will also be held in Oslo, Norway; Brussels, Belgium; Toronto and Vancouver, Canada; U.S.A.; Japan; Australia; and Manila, Philippines. The picket in The Hague, The Netherlands, will have international participants from Germany and Belgium. We expect to receive more reports. One action we propose is a "TELEPHONE-FAX BARRAGE" to the offices of the Prime Minister and of the Justice Minister on the 13th and 14th of August. The barrage will be in the form of sending our political message. The telephone and fax numbers are:

Justice Minister W. Sorgdrager
State Secretary of Justice E.M.A. Schmitz
Tel: +31-70-3707911
Fax: +31-703647702

Prime Minister W. Kok
Tel: +31-70-3564100
Fax: +31-70-3564683

Your telephone and fax message can reiterate our campaign calls which are:

Stop The Expulsion Of The Sison Family!
Asylum For The Sison Family NOW!
Protect And Advance The Right Of All Political Refugees!
Justice For All Political Refugees!
Clinton-Ramos, Stay Out Of The Sison Asylum Case!
Stop U.S.-Ramos Terrorism Against The Filipino People!
No To The Sacrifice Of The Sisons' Rights For Dutch Transnational Profits in the Philippines.

We anticipate that the struggle of the Sisons for their right to political asylum will continue for a long period of time. Thus, it will be good for you to plan for the organization of a "Sison Family Asylum Committee" to sustain the campaign. Committee members can be drawn from those who actively supported the campaign activities. Please inform us immediately of the action you have taken in response to our campaign. The Sison family (Joma, Julie, Jasm) and the Filipino community are inspired by the response we have received for our international campaign.

In solidarity,

Cesar T. Taguba
Coordinator, International Campaign
P.O. Box 2041
3800 CA Amersfoort
The Netherlands

Mela Castillo
Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands
Tel: 31-30-2368722

E-mail: ndf@antenna.nl

-----

Appeal For The Grant Of Asylum To Prof. Jose Maria Sison And Family

To: Office of the Prime Minister
c/o Dutch Parliament
Postbus 20018
2500 EA 's-Gravenhage

Ministry of Justice
Postbus 30127
2500 GC 's-Gravenhage

We hereby appeal to the government of the Netherlands to respect and follow the February 21, 1995 decision of the Raad van State on the asylum case of Prof. Jose Maria Sison and family. The decision lays down the following points:

1. Prof. Sison is a political refugee with a well-grounded fear of persecution in the sense of the Refugee Treaty of Geneva.

2. He cannot be sent back to the Philippines and is entitled to protection under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

We protest the June 4, 1996 negative decision of the Dutch justice ministry which seeks to violate or circumvent the above decision of the Raad van State. If the justice ministry is allowed to overturn the Raad van State decision, who else can qualify for asylum status in the Netherlands?

The negative decision of the Dutch justice ministry pays lip service to the decision of the Raad van State but repeats the same false accusations and false arguments which the Raad van
State has already heard and considered; and denies asylum to Prof. Sison in the Netherlands in particular.

What seems to be the only new argument of the Dutch justice ministry is its own argument that Article 3 of the European Convention does not necessarily mean the grant of asylum. But the justice ministry conveniently forgets that Prof. Sison has already been recognized as a political refugee by the Raad van State. We demand that the Dutch justice ministry cease to obscure
the Raad van State decision that Prof. Sison is a political refugee by endlessly repeating false claims and false arguments already considered worthless by the Raad van State.

At this point in time, the Dutch justice ministry must realize that while it continues to slander Prof. Sison, who is already adjudged a political refugee, the high officials of the Manila government which has fed defamatory information against him are publicly offering high positions to him in a futile attempt to lure him back to the Philippines under their terms.

The Dutch justice ministry must also realize that Prof. Sison has been active in the ongoing peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Manila government. It is ridiculous that while the Dutch foreign ministry hosts these talks, the Dutch justice ministry is trying to undermine the talks by expelling the NDFP's chief political consultant who has been fulfilling a crucially important role in the talks. It is a matter of justice that asylum be granted to Prof. Sison in the Netherlands.

It is also a matter of general interest that the Dutch government fulfill its obligations under the Refugee Treaty and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

 This general interest concerning political refugees is even higher than the narrower political and economic interests involved in bilateral relations between the Dutch government and the Philippine government or even with the U.S. government.

It is totally reprehensible for the Dutch justice ministry to convert the asylum procedure from a juridical process to a political process in the case of Prof. Sison. The justice ministry has blocked his asylum request for nearly eight years. It must cease to delay or even try to deprive him of his right to asylum, which has been decided as duly belonging to him by the Raad van State.

Stop The Expulsion Of The Sison Family!
Political Asylum For The Sison Family NOW!
Protect And Advance The Rights Of All Political Asylum-Seekers!

Name:
Signature:
Address:
Date:

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Press Statement - August 5, 1996

By Jose Maria Sison

I wish to thank Karapatan (the largest human rights center in the Philippines) and SELDA (the association of former political prisoners) as well as Atty. Romeo T. Capulong, chairman of Philippine Peace Center, and Rev. Irineo Gordoncillo, Karapatan chairperson, for issuing statements of support on my asylum case in the Netherlands.

I am deeply pleased that they have pointed out the dangers that I face were I to return to the Philippines and have protested the unjust decision of the Dutch justice ministry to expel me and my family from the Netherlands on political grounds in violation of the Refugee Treaty of Geneva and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

I am also thankful to all organizations and individuals that are planning to hold mass protest actions against the decision of the Dutch justice ministry to deny my application for asylum and expel me from the Netherlands on August 15, 1996, together with my wife Julie and son Jasm.

I have been informed that a mass protest action is going to be held on August 14 from 13:00 to 15:00 hours in The Hague, Netherlands, from Malieveld to the Dutch justice ministry building.

This protest action is organized by the International Campaign for the Sison Family, the Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands (FREN), the Dutch Committee for Political Asylum for the Sisons Now, Bayan International and PRIE (Participating Refugees in Europe).

Mass protest actions are also slated to be held before Dutch embassies in Manila and other capitals of the world. BAYAN International and the International Campaign for the Sison Family are coordinating these mass actions.

(Sgd.:) Jose Maria Sison

For authentication, please call the NDF International Office at tel. no. 31-30-2310431.

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"U.S. Government Is The Strongest Power Intervening In My Asylum Case"

Press Statement - August 4, 1996

By Jose Maria Sison

By bending to the pressures of Manila and Washington to deny me asylum in the Netherlands, the Dutch justice ministry violates not only the February 21, 1995 decision of the Dutch Council of State but also the treaty obligations of the Dutch state under the Refugee Treaty of Geneva and the European Convention on Human Rights on Human and Fundamental Freedoms. 

In order to continue treating my asylum case as a political case rather than as a juridical case, the Dutch justice ministry uses unfounded and malicious claims already abandoned by the Manila government and repeatedly nullified by the Dutch Council of State.

The Dutch government is overeager to please the Manila government because of the enormous interests of such Dutch monopoly firms as Shell, Unilever, ING-Barings and Philips in the Philippines. But the strongest power unlawfully intervening in my asylum case is the U.S. government, which has far larger interests in the Philippines than the Dutch government.

1. In 1989 and 1990, U.S. diplomatic sources in Manila and The Hague made press leaks to the effect that the U.S. government had advised the Dutch government to deny my application for asylum in the Netherlands.

2. The main supplier of derogatory information against me in the secret dossiers compiled by the Dutch intelligence service (BVD) is the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

3. In the hearing of my asylum case before the Dutch Council of State on October 29, 1992, the representative of the Dutch justice ministry openly declared that a government friendly to both the Dutch and Manila governments would be displeased or offended if I would be granted asylum in the Netherlands. He was clearly referring to the U.S. government.

4. In 1991 an agent of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and an officer of the Dutch intelligence service (BVD) jointly approached a Filipino asylum-seeker, Nathan Quimpo, and asked him to become an intelligence asset of the CIA with the principal task of spying on me in exchange for a monthly salary in U.S. dollars, approval of his application for asylum in the Netherlands and a U.S. travel grant.

At that time, Quimpo refused to become a CIA asset and cooperated with journalists of a Dutch TV news program in videotaping and exposing his meeting with the CIA and the BVD agents in Amsterdam. However, he started to write articles against me personally and against the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in early 1992.

In 1993 Quimpo was able to travel to the U.S. despite his participation in the exposure of the CIA and BVD agents, which had caused quite a stir in the Netherlands and merited an inquiry in the Dutch parliament. In early 1994 he was able to get his status as political refugee in the Netherlands. His anti-Sison and anti-NDFP articles were used as attachments to the brief submitted by the Dutch justice ministry to the Dutch Council of State in 1994.

One of the false claims made by the Dutch justice ministry against me is responsibility for Kampanyang Ahos, a bloody witchhunt, which took place in Mindanao in 1985 and 1986 when I was still under maximum security detention by the U.S.-Marcos regime. It is widely known in the Philippines and abroad that I have strongly condemned this crime and those chiefly responsible for it.

It is preposterous that the Dutch justice ministry would blame me for this crime and at the same time grant Quimpo with asylum in the Netherlands. Quimpo is notorious in the Philippines for having been a member of the so-called caretaker committee which launched and carried out Kampanyang Ahos in Mindanao from 1985 to 1986.

(Sgd.:) Jose Maria Sison

For authentication, please call the NDF International Office at tel. no. 31-30-2310431; fax 31-302322989; email:ndf@antenna.nl

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Statement Of The Filipino Refugees In The Netherlands (FREN)

Statement Of Protest Against The Dutch Justice Ministy's Order To Expel The Sison Family

We, the Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands (FREN), strongly protest the June 4th decision of the Dutch Ministry of Justice requiring Prof. Jose Maria Sison and his family to leave The Netherlands within four weeks, from July 18, 1996, the date when the decision was handed down to him.

This decision, surprisingly, was made in direct opposition to the findings of the Netherlands Council of State (Raad van State), which had earlier determined that Prof. Sison is a genuine political refugee as defined by the Refugee Treaty of Geneva and that he cannot be sent back to the Philippines because he is protected by the Article 3 of European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

From the very start, the Ministry of Justice has acted unfairly on the asylum case of Prof. Sison. It has relied on trumped-up and secret "evidence" furnished by the U.S. and Philippine governments to the Dutch intelligence services (BVD) to accuse Prof. Sison of "crimes" he supposedly committed while he was being held in solitary confinement by the Marcos dictatorship and while he was already abroad.

Among the crimes being attributed to him is Kampanyang Ahos (Garlic Campaign), a murderous scheme launched in 1985 by some Filipino renegades from the revolutionary movement which resulted in widespread human rights violations in the Philippines, especially on Mindanao island. It is no wonder that this handful of Filipino renegades and their supporters in other countries are now welcoming the heartless order for the expulsion of the Sison family. To set the record straight, it is Prof. Sison who has always been consistent in calling for an investigation of the Kampanyang Ahos.

The Ministry of Justice has also branded Professor Sison a "terrorist" and accused him of having connections with "terrorists" - but it has always refused to reveal in open court who these "terrorists" are.

We ask: Is it proper, or legal, for the Dutch justice ministry to brand as "terrorist" someone already adjudged by the Raad van State as a political refugee? The Dutch justice ministry is unjust and malicious in repeating the lies the Raad van State has heard and considered in its decision.

It is funny, but revealing, that the justice ministry has even outdone the Manila government in raising an alarm about Prof. Sison's being an alleged terrorist. Prof. Sison is the chief political adviser to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) panel in peace talks with the Manila government. Will the government negotiate with a terrorist?

Just recently, Philippine President Ramos and Congressman Speaker de Venecia reportedly invited Prof. Sison to come back to the Philippines to continue the peace talks there; they even hinted that Prof. Sison could be appointed to a seat in the Philippine Congress.

Would Prof. Sison be regarded this way, if they really believed he was a terrorist?

We in FREN, as well as many Filipinos here in Europe and our European friends, including our Dutch friends and sympathizers, know Prof. Jose Maria Sison very well. We all call him by his nickname "Joma".

We can say with all frankness that, of all Filipinos here in Europe or anywhere else overseas, Joma Sison is among the most deserving of political asylum and of the refugee status. The main events that drove him to apply for asylum in the Netherlands are now public knowledge: he initiated and led the national-democratic movement in the Philippines; he was arrested, heavily tortured and detained for almost 10 years by the Marcos dictatorship; released after the fall of Marcos, he was abroad on a speaking tour when President Cory Aquino cancelled his passport
in September 1988, thus forcing him to become a political refugee.

The Dutch Council of State has recognized Joma Sison as a political refugee. Even the Dutch Justice Ministry agrees with the Council of State that he is indeed a political refugee. So, how can the Justice Ministry reject Sison's application for political asylum? How can a permit to stay be denied him? Worse, why are they now moving to expel him and his family?

Stop The Expulsion Of The Sison Family
Political Asylum For The Sisons Now!

M.M. Castillo
Chairperson, Stichting FREN

For further information, contact
Tel: 31-(0)30--2368722
Fax: 31-(0)30-2322989

-----

Statement Of The Asylum-Seeker Prof. Jose Maria Sison On The June 4th Decision Of The Justice Ministry

July 18, 1996

I wish to respond to the decision of the Dutch justice ministry signed by the state secretary of justice, E.M.A. Schmitz dated June 4, 1996 and handed down to me only on July 18, 1996 by the Utrecht Aliens Police, denying my request for admission as refugee in the Netherlands and ordering me to leave this country.

This negative decision contradicts itself by also declaring that: "The concerned is not going to be deported to the Philippines so long as he has well-grounded fear of persecution in the sense of the Refugee Treaty of July 28, 1951, as amended by the Protocol of New York of January 31, 1967, or for a treatment that will cause a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms."

In simple language, the Dutch justice ministry admits, in accordance with the decision of the Afdeling Bestuursrecht of the Raad van State dated February 21, 1995, that I have well-grounded fear of persecution and that I am a political refugee under the Refugee Treaty. Sending me back to the Philippines would also be violative of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

But to throw the aforesaid decision of the Raad van State to the waste basket, the Dutch justice ministry does the following: It endlessly repeats false claims against me, which have already been heard by the Afdeling Bestuursrecht of the Raad van State. It continues to cite against me events occurring in Mindanao in 1985, when I was under maximum security detention, and those in 1989 and 1991, when I was abroad. The justice ministry is veritably more malicious than the Manila government because the latter has never used these events to file any formal complaint against me before any court. It cites an unpublished ruling of the European Commission for human rights dated July 13, 1990 in a certain case, Number 12847/87 in order to admit that Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom protects me from being sent back to the Philippines but at the same time to argue gratuitously and with utmost sophistry that the same article does not give me the right to stay in the Netherlands. It is utterly foolish for the justice ministry to argue that the said article protects me and at the same time does not protect me. In effect, the ministry is inventing in my case the category of a "political refugee in orbit", one considered as such and protected by the European Convention but barred from acquiring the status of political refugee specifically in the Netherlands, where I have been since 1988 as an asylumseeker. It repeats the old and unfounded argument that my asylum status in the Netherlands would damage the general interest of the Dutch state, particularly in relation to responsibilities to other countries, as if responsibilities of the same state under the Refugee Treaty and the European Convention pertaining to political refugees were of no importance. In fact, the pertinent international law prohibits any foreign government from meddling with my asylum case in the Netherlands.

The Raad van State has firmly established that I have well-grounded fear of persecution and that I am a political refugee. What is absolutely unfounded is the false claim of the justice ministry that I am a terrorist or that I have criminal relations with terrorists. It is malicious and unjust for the justice ministry to throw around such false claims.

It has become a scandal among social lawyers, human rights activists, supporters of refugees and all other people of goodwill in the Netherlands that the Dutch justice ministry is imposing political reasons, including hidden ones, on what is supposed to be a strictly juridicial case such as my asylum case. Said ministry has echoed false claims against me from some foreign governments and has indicated that it is under advice from one or several governments, in violation of the international law pertaining to refugees.

The Dutch justice ministry has also taken so long to make a new negative decision on my asylum case since the Raad van State decision dated February 21, 1995. There is rank incompetence and inefficiency. In dragging its feet and trying to render inutile the decision of the Raad van State, the flimsy and silly excuse, given by the justice ministry in its November 23, 1995 letter to
the Arrondissementrechtsbank in The Hague, Sector Bestuursrecht, is that the ministry has been looking for a country to which I can be transferred.

May I know the result of the search for an alternative country? If I am deemed good enough to reside in another European country, which accepts the valid and binding character of the European Convention, why should I not be deemed good enough to reside in the Netherlands in the first place?

Why should any other country in Europe take me as refugee when in the first place the Dutch justice ministry refuses to grant me asylum status in violation of the Refugee Treaty and the European Convention? In refusing to grant me asylum in the Netherlands and trying to keep me out, the Dutch justice ministry is violating my right to asylum and is in fact trying to force me back to the Philippines.

The justice ministry has made a new negative decision only after being compelled by the Arrondissementrechtsbank in The Hague, Sector Bestuursrecht, in a court decision dated April 29, 1996, ordering said ministry to make a new decision within six weeks thenceforth and nullifying the argument of the ministry that its failure to make a decision on my appeal for reconsideration dated August 6, 1990 is equivalent to a decision.

The Dutch justice ministry is acting unjustly and incompetently in dealing with my asylum case. In being unjust and incompetent in my case, said ministry has deprived me of asylum status in the Netherlands since 1988. This ministry has the outstanding record of having its negative decisions being repeatedly nullified, twice by the Raad van State on December 17, 1992 and February 21, 1995 and once by the Arrondissementrechtsbank of The Hague, Sector Bestuursrecht, on April 29, 1996.

Will my asylum case ever be decided finally according to the juridical process? Or will it be decided by the political motivations and shadowy processes of the justice ministry in the name of "general interest" and "relations with foreign governments?"

Note Bene: If you wish to get further information about the asylum case of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, please contact his lawyer, Mr Robert van As, Tel.: 030-6032922.

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Press Statement On The Expulsion Order Of The Dutch Justice Ministry - July 23, 1996

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

July 23, 1996

My Dutch lawyer and I are appealing the new negative decision of the Dutch justice ministry to the appropriate court in the Netherlands. This appeal prevents the execution of the expulsion order.

My legal position against the expulsion order of the Dutch justice ministry is strong. The Dutch council of state decided on February 21, 1995 the following: I am a political refugee with a well-grounded fear of persecution in the sense of the Refugee Treaty of Geneva. I cannot be sent back to the Philippines inasmuch as I am protected by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The new negative decision of the Dutch justice ministry is baseless and weak for the following reasons:

It fails to overcome the decision of the Dutch council of state. In fact the justice ministry decision self-contradictorily accepts this decision of the Dutch council of state. The Dutch justice ministry merely recycles false claims against me about Philippine events in 1985 when I was in prison and in 1989 to 1991 when I was abroad. All these were heard and considered before by the Dutch council of state.

In violation of the Refugee Treaty, the Dutch justice ministry also recycles its old argument about "general interest" in bending to pressures from foreign governments, like the U.S. and the Philippine governments. This argument was already heard and considered before by the Dutch council of state. The Dutch government must not forget its general interest in keeping its obligations under the Refugee Treaty, the European Convention and the Dutch Alien Law.

The citation by the Dutch justice ministry of a ruling of the European Commission for Human Rights dated July 13, 1990 on the asylum case of a Sri Lankan in Switzerland is actually no argument for my expulsion. In fact, said ruling endorses the protection of the Sri Lankan under Article 3 of the European Convention, while declaring that he was not automatically entitled to asylum in Switzerland.

I am confident that I will not be expelled soon from the Netherlands because my asylum case is strong. The expulsion order of the Dutch justice ministry, if carried out, will seriously disrupt the formal meetings of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in the Netherlands. Said meetings have been held mostly in the Netherlands and have been recently resumed under the hosting of the Dutch government.

The pressure of the U.S. and Philippine governments on the Dutch government to expel me from the Netherlands will fail to steer the formal meetings of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations
towards Manila. The NDFP Negotiating Panel considers as crucial my role as NDFP chief political consultant and does not welcome the attempt of the aforesaid governments to separate me from the panel which is based in Utrecht, Netherlands under the chairmanship of Luis Jalandoni.

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"Ramos Welcome Is False"

Press Statement - July 24, 1996

By Jose Maria Sison

In my view, the "welcome" offered by Mr. Ramos for my return to the Philippines is false and insincere.

What he means is that I return to the Philippines under his terms like Nur Misuari has done. In this regard, let me state that I shall return upon the decision of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and not under the terms of the Ramos regime. The ulterior motive behind the pretended welcome is to further push the Dutch justice ministry to separate me from the NDFP negotiating panel based in the Netherlands.

Also, the objective is to ultimately draw the panel to Manila so that the NDFP personnel can be put under pressure by vested interests and under close surveillance by intelligence agencies.

The Dutch justice ministry has openly admitted that it does the bidding of such governments as the U.S. and the Philippine governments in refusing to grant me asylum in the Netherlands. The military officers headed by General Ramos were responsible for the cancellation of my passport in 1988. All along, the Manila government has also been responsible for pressuring the Dutch government to expel me from the Netherlands. However, the main obstacle to the scheme of having me expelled from the Netherlands is the previous decision of the Dutch council of state dated February 21, 1995 that I am a political refugee with a well-grounded fear of persecution in the sense of the Refugee Treaty; and that I cannot be sent back to the Philippines under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

I am confident about the strength of my legal position in the asylum case. Therefore, I am not considering any alternative country to transfer to. I will wage first the necessary battles in court against the negative decision of the Dutch justice ministry, especially for the benefit of other asylum-seekers.

(Sgd.:) Jose Maria Sison

For confirmation, please call the NDF International Office, Tel. 31-30-2310431

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"On Any Offer Of Position From The Manila Government"

Press Statement - July 27, 1996

By Jose Maria Sison

I cannot accept any offer of position from the Manila government for the simple reason that to accept it is to violate my principles and my firm position to stand for the people's struggle for national liberation and democracy.

Such an offer is insulting and is a vain attempt at psychological warfare. However, those officials of the Manila government who make such an offer unwittingly run counter to the Dutch justice ministry which tries to depict me in the most unflattering terms.

As I have earlier pointed out, my asylum case in the Netherlands is quite strong because of the February 21, 1996 decision of the Dutch council of state that I am a political refugee and that I cannot be sent back to the Philippines. It is the negative decision of the Dutch justice ministry that is baseless and weak. Thus, I have the confidence to fight it in court.

It is a matter of duty for me to stay on for a while in the Netherlands, if only to pursue the asylum case to its conclusion. Were I to give up this case, then I would be allowing the false claims and arguments of the Dutch justice ministry to go unopposed and look as if they were true.

Another strong reason why I must stand my ground is that I must frustrate the scheme of the Manila government to separate me from the NDFP negotiating panel and then to lure the panel to Manila.

I observe that some of those who express the wish that I return to the Philippines have long tried to demonize me. These few elements do not really wish me to return to the Philippines. They think that they have found one more occasion to make snide remarks against me and against what I stand for.

Let me remind everyone that the revolutionary movement and its collective leadership in the Philippines are steadily strengthening themselves, especially because of the rectification movement. That is why the Manila government is compelled to negotiate with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

(Sgd.:) Jose Maria Sison

For authentication, please call the NDF International Office at Tel. No. 31-30-2310431.

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Press Statement From Luis Jalandoni, Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

July 24, 1996

"Ramos Regime Must Not Ride On Unjust Dutch Justice Ministry Decision

The Ramos regime dishonors its own signature by seeking to ride on the unjust decision of the Dutch justice ministry regarding Prof. Jose Maria Sison's asylum application and attempting to draw the GRP-NDFP peace talks to the Philippines.

On February 24, 1995, the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels signed the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which stipulates that formal meetings between the two parties shall be held in a neutral foreign venue. This was approved by the principals of the two panels, Mariano Orosa for the NDFP and Fidel Ramos for the GRP, in April 1995. This latest attempt of the Ramos regime to undermine the JASIG under the pretense of welcoming Prof. Sison and the NDFP Panel is most condemnable.

The NDFP has consistently upheld the significance of a neutral foreign venue for the formal meetings of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. Our experience in the 1986-87 peace talks with the GRP, wherein General Ramos and Ileto boasted they had greatly increased their "intelligence stocks", proves the importance of a neutral foreign venue. Moreover, the NDFP has opposed the GRP's attempt to depict the 27-year-old civil war as a mere internal police problem. The NDFP has upheld its status as a co-belligerent in a civil war, whose prolonged character and intensity necessitate the application of the Geneva Conventions, the Protocols additional thereto and other international humanitarian law.

The Dutch justice ministry decision is unjust and self-contradictory. It admits that Prof. Jose Maria Sison has the right to the status of political refugee according to the Geneva Convention on Refugees, as the Dutch Council of State declared in its decision of Feb. 21, 1995. Yet it denies him the right of entry as refugee and stay in The Netherlands. Its accusations against Sison have already been declared unfounded by the Dutch Council of State. The NDFP stands firmly behind Prof. Sison's appeal, confident that his strong legal position will be upheld. In the meantime, the appeal effectively suspends the Dutch justice ministry decision.

This unjust decision to expel Prof. Sison if carried out will have enormously negative effects on the GRP-NDFP peace talks. Since 1989 up to June 1996, there have been fifteen formal and informal meetings between the GRP and NDFP. In all these meetings, which have resulted in the signing of five agreements and one additional document, Prof. Sison has played a crucially important role. Moreover, his presence in the Netherlands, where the NDFP Negotiating Panel is based, is essential to the peace talks. Twelve of the fifteen GRP-NDFP meetings have taken place in The Netherlands.

The resumption of the formal meetings in the GRP-NDFP peace talks, after a one-year disruption due to the GRP's unilateral suspension, was in fact held in The Hague. It was officially
hosted by the Dutch Foreign Ministry.

++++ stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ++++
++++ if you agree copy these lines to your sig ++++
++++ see http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm ++++

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