NDFP commends IADL for exposing violations of human rights of Filipinos in the Netherlands at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
There are serious allegations that the Netherlands government gave credence to false information provided by the Philippine government, particularly from a body called the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group, which the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Prof. Philip Alston recommended to be abolished… How can the Dutch government’s commitment to respect human rights be reconciled with what is viewed as an unfounded arrest and labeling of asylum-seekers like Prof. Jose Ma. Sison who has lived peacefully in exile, followed its laws for more than 20 years, and is legally protected under the European Convention on Human Rights?
Oral intervention of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers,
UN Human Rights Council, 8th Session, 11 June 2008
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel commends the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) for exposing before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva the violations of human rights of Filipinos in The Netherlands. The IADL, through Atty. Edre U. Olalia, Deputy Secretary General of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), an affiliate of the IADL, delivered its intervention on June 11, 2008 at the 8th Session of the UN HR Council during the Universal Periodic Review of the human rights record of The Netherlands.
The cases cited by the IADL are the arbitrary arrest and detention of Prof. Jose Maria Sison and the indiscriminate raids by the Dutch police on the office of the NDFP and the homes of NDFP peace negotiators, consultants and staffers on August 28, 2007.
Acting on false information provided by the Arroyo government, especially by the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG) headed by National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, the Dutch authorities arrested Prof. Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant in peace negotiations with the Manila government. The Dutch police raids on the office of the NDFP in Utrecht and on the homes of NDFP negotiators, consultants and staffers caused the confiscation of numerous files of the peace negotiations since 1986 up to 2007. The charges filed against Sison had been dismissed by the Philippine Supreme Court on June 1, 2007.
These acts of persecution against Prof. Sison and the NDFP negotiators, consultants and staffers seriously prejudice the peace negotiations being facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government as Third Party Facilitator.
The IADL intervention also pointed out that the Dutch authorities used information from the IALAG, which UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston had recommended be abolished. The IALAG is the notorious agency used by the Arroyo regime to file trumped-up charges against activists and to cover up the accountability of the regime’s military and police forces in the widely condemned extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations.
The NDFP Negotiating Panel condemns the continuing persecution by the Dutch authorities. Prof. Sison is still being subjected to unjust investigation by the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office, despite the decisions of the Dutch Court in The Hague on September 13, 2007 and of the Court of Appeals on October 3, 2007 that there is no prIma facie evidence against Prof. Sison. Moreover, the examining judge had closed the investigation against Prof. Sison on November 21, 2007. It is undue persecution of Prof. Sison for the Dutch prosecutors to prolong the investigation against him indefinitely and to continue blocking his bank account and the bank accounts of the NDFP Office. We also condemn the continued failure of the prosecutors to return many confiscated peace documents and other materials.
The NDFP Negotiating Panel expresses its heartfelt thanks to the IADL. We likewise thank the Philippine UPR Watch, the Indian Council of South America and the Indigenous Peoples and Nations Coalition for endorsing the IADL presentation.