Opening Statement at Press Conference
on Terrorist-listing and Related Issues
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
31 May 2007
NDF Information Bureau, Utrecht,The Netherlands
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Let me first thank all of you, including those who are online in other countries,
for participating and the Committee to Defend Filipino Progressives in Europe
for organizing this press conference.
The focus of this press conference is the issue of my being blacklisted by the
Council of the European Union and being subjected to punitive sanctions for
the heinous crime of terrorism, without being informed of any specific act of
terrorism of which I am suspected or in fact being held culpable and without
any proper criminal investigation, hearing or trial.
The issue has become urgent because I have received the letter of the Council
of the European Union dated 23 April 2007, which starts by saying that it has
the intent to retain me in the blacklist, as if it were giving me a chance to clear
myself, but concludes that it has already decided to retain me in the blacklist on
the basis of all the blatantly false allegations which I have debunked before the
European Court of First Instance. Said letter makes a travesty of the just demand
to define the procedure and the basis for listing and delisting an individual or organization.
Since the time I applied for political asylum in 1988, I have been prohibited from
taking regular employment in The Netherlands. For more than four years since I
was blacklisted as a terrorist in 2002, the Dutch authorities have terminated my
social benefits, such as living allowance, housing, health insurance, civil liability
insurance and old age pension. I am treated worse than a convicted murderer,
who has gone through a judicial process and is assured of the essential means of
human existence while in prison.
So flagrantly violated are my rights to be informed of the specific crime (instead
of the blanket hysterical charge of terrorism) that I am being accused of, to
presumption of innocence, to due process, to defense, to the essential means
of human existence, to the basic right to life, to family union and privacy and to
security from damage to my moral and physical integrity.
My being blacklisted as a "terrorist" has absolutely no legal and factual basis. The
Dutch and European authorities are being absolutely malicious and mendacious
by misrepresenting as amounting to criminal conviction for terrorism those court
judgments of the Raad van State and Rechtseenheidskamer on my asylum cases
in 1995 and 1997 respectively in The Netherlands, which categorically rule that I
am a political refugee in the sense of Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention and
that there is no reason for me to fall under the category of Article 1 F.
The Philippine government has fed false information to the Dutch government
since the time I applied for political asylum in 1988 and yet in 1998 declared and
certified that there was no criminal charge pending against me. The subversion
charge in 1988 had been nullified by the repeal of the Anti-Subversion in 1992
and the complaint of multiple murder in 1991 had been dismissed by the Manila
city prosecutors in 1994 as something based on pure speculation. In other words,
the Manila government had misled and fooled the Dutch government in my asylum
I have been unjustly prevented from being admitted as a political refugee, despite
the fact that I have been recognized as a political refugee by the Dutch courts
and the office of the High Commission for Refugees. As if there is no end to what
my powerful political opponents are doing in order to persecute me, they have put
me in the so-called terrorist list by using the political hysteria and perversions of
legality that have been instigated worldwide by the now-discredited Bush regime
in the aftermath of 9/11.
The Bush regime has used 9/11 to mix "military Keynesianism" with "neoliberal
globalization", to drum up the barbaric principle of preemptive war, to launch wars
of aggression as in Iraq and Afghanistan, to engage in military intervention as in
the Philippines, to promote the adoption of fascist laws and the worsening of state
terrorism and repressive regimes all in the name of combating terrorism. The current
Arroyo regime operates within the ambit of the US and other imperialist powers and,
of course, the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords in my country.
The semi-colonial political conditions and the semifeudal socio-economic conditions
in the Philippines have become worse from year to year under the current Arroyo
regime. It has aggravated the oppression and exploitation of the people. It has
conjured the false illusion of economic growth by engaging in excessive foreign and
local borrowing and grabbing the foreign exchange income of the overseas contract
workers for purposes other than the development of the economy. It knows no
bounds for the gross and systematic violations of human rights, such as massacres
and assassinations, abductions, torture and violent displacement of the people in
the urban and rural areas.
The recent elections in the Philippines have been characterized by massive vote-buying,
fraud and mass intimidation. These have been perpetrated by the bureaucratic and
military operatives of the Arroyo regime in order to make its candidates get an overwhelming
false victory in the local and congressional elections and secure the fake president from
impeachment. But electoral cheating and terrorism serve only to sharpen and aggravate
the political and economic crisis of the ruling system.
The internal contradictions among the reactionaries are expected to become more bitter
and more violent. The people's resistance to the regime is steadfast and always rising
despite the escalating level of repression. The regime is becoming more arrogant, mindless
and brutal with its false electoral victory and with the Anti-Terrorism Law in hand for
implementation in July. It is obsessed with seeking the destruction of the people's
revolutionary movement by military means and has no use for addressing the social roots
of the civil war through peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the
I think that I have said enough for opening the press conference. I am ready for questions.