By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
Dear Friends and Guests from the Press,
Thank you very much for your high sense of solidarity and serious concern in coming to this forum. I wish that I were in person here with you. But let me be with you in spirit and express my most heartfelt gratitude.
I am deeply pleased that this forum takes up the defense of my democratic rights against their violation by the European Council, which has criminalized me as a "terrorist" without any kind of due process and is subjecting me to punitive measures.
These measures include the freezing of my bank account, the withdrawal of social benefits, deprivation of financial services, restraints on my freedom of movement, and so on. The anti-terrorist line has also been used recently by Dutch authorities to turn down my long-running demand for a permit to work.
Jan Fermon, Atty. Romeo T. Capulong and other lawyers of mine who are here and negotiating panel chairman Luis Jalandoni of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) can competently present various aspects of the topic of the forum, answer questions and exchange views with you.
I am also deeply pleased that my lawyers have finalized the application to the European Court of Justice and that the Defend Sison Campaign has collected around 25,000 signatures for presentation to the Brussels office of the European Council after this forum.
In recent days, President Gloria M. Arroyo and other key members of her cabinet have publicly admitted that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) is responsible for asking the US, the European and other governments to put me in the list of "terrorists", together with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People's Army (NPA), for the purpose of intimidating me and pressuring the NDFP negotiating panel to sign a document of capitulation drafted by the GRP.
They have brazenly boasted that they could ask from the aforesaid foreign governments the removal of my name from the list of "terrorists" if I would sign the aforesaid document of capitulation. It is absolutely clear that the charge of "terrorism" and the belated charges of "murder" against me in the press are all fabricated and are politically motivated.
The GRP flagrantly violates The Hague Joint Declaration, especially its provisions of mutually acceptable principles, non-capitulation, addressing the roots of the armed conflict, substantive agenda and defined method of negotiating one substantive heading after another. It also violates the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees(JASIG) by trumping up charges against the NDFP chief political consultant.
The GRP is a shameless puppet government violating the Filipino people's national sovereignty, yielding to the US and other foreign governments jurisdiction over alleged acts of the NPA and allowing them to misrepresent as acts of terrorism those which the GRP law and jurisprudence deem as acts of rebellion.
The armed conflict between the armed forces of the GRP and NDFP is governed by international humanitarian law (the four Geneva Conventions and protocols) and is beyond the European Council Framework Decision of June 13, 2002 and its definition of terrorism. The GRP and NDFP are bound by the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
May I point out that the GRP and its imperialist masters are trying to overpower or circumvent the absolute protection that I get as a recognized political refugee from Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. They are trying to create a situation in which I can be detained, expelled, extradited to a US military base or even assassinated by CIA covert operatives.
The US is using the September 11 attacks and the slogan of "war on terrorism" to obfuscate the worsening crisis of monopoly capitalism and to commit the worst kinds of terrorism, including wars of aggression, nuclear blackmail, repression and assassination of anti-imperialist leaders, against national liberation movements and countries assertive of national independence.
But the people of the world can fight back and ultimately defeat the evil of imperialist plunder and terrorism engineered by the US on a grand scale. We can resolutely and militantly wage various forms of struggle in order to prevail. We can assert and exercise our democratic rights in order to fight and win. Thus, we can advance the cause of national liberation, democracy, a just peace and all-round social progress.