Decision of the Dutch Court of Appeals is the triumph of justice

By Professor JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel

I am elated by the decision of the Court of Appeals rejecting the demand of the Public Prosecutor's Office for my detention in connection with the investigation of the false and politically motivated charge of ordering or inciting the killing of the two notorious military and police agents Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

By Professor JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel

I am elated by the decision of the Court of Appeals rejecting the demand of the Public Prosecutor's Office for my detention in connection with the investigation of the false and politically motivated charge of ordering or inciting the killing of the two notorious military and police agents Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

The Court of Appeals decision upholds the earlier decision of the District Court of The Hague releasing me from incommunicado detention on the ground that there is no sufficient evidence against me. It declares essentially that there is no prima facie evidence against me. It categorically states that there is no direct evidence to link me to the aforesaid killings and that I am not a criminal perpetrator in any sense.

The Court of Appeals has clarified that for anyone to play a prominent role on behalf of any revolutionary political party or movement in general or in abstracto is no proof of criminal wrongdoing. Direct concrete evidence is necessary to prove any criminal act. The decision has profound implications and has far reaching consequences not only on the question of preventive detention but also on the validity of the charge.

The Court further notes that the charge against me must be seen in their political context and that the statements given by the various witnesses cannot be simply accepted as reliable. It also expresses its doubt as to my ability to fully exercise my right to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses in view of the terrible human rights situation and the dangers to my lawyers.

The prosecution witnesses had been mainly, if not entirely, supplied by the Manila government to Dutch investigators who went to the Philippines to fish for testimonies without any prior finding of wrongdoing by me in The Netherlands and despite the absence of a treaty of extradition between the Philippines and The Netherlands.

The biggest anomaly is that the Dutch prosecutors construe as acts of murder the killings of Kintanar and Tabara whereas in 2006 the prosecutors of the Manila government categorized these as specific acts of rebellion in the rebellion charge filed against me and fifty other persons. This charge, together with its specifications and supposed evidence, was nullified by the Philippine Supreme Court last July.

On their own account, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army have described the Kintanar and Tabara incidents as acts of revolution. They have admitted that the people's court duly issued the warrants of arrest against Kintanar and Tabara and that these armed and dangerous criminal suspects were given battle upon their resistance to arrest by the NPA arresting teams.

The decision of the Court of Appeals is the triumph of justice. In this regard, I thank the judges, G. Oosterhof as Chairperson and G. P. A. Aler and F. Heemskerk as members. Likewise, I thank my counsel Michiel Pestman of the Böhler Franken Koppe and Wijngaarden law office and all the parties, institutions, organizations, personages and broad masses of the people who have stood in solidarity with me in order to defend my rights and support my cause against injustice.

I hope that soon the Dutch prosecutors drop the false and politically motivated charge against me. The District Court of The Hague and the Court of Appeals have pointed to the lack of direct and sufficient evidence against me in ruling against my return to solitary confinement. They have exposed the baselessness of the charge against me in fact and in law. I also hope that the prosecutors return to the panelists, consultants and staffers of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines the computers, cameras, publications, papers, digital files and other things seized in the police raids of 28 August.

It is best that we reacquire the means for exercising our democratic rights in The Netherlands and that we can continue to work for the national and social liberation of the Filipino people, defend human rights against the gross and systematic violations thereof in the Philippines and promote a just peace through the resumption of the formal talks in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

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