By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel
I am very happy that the European Court of First Instance (ECFI) has annulled all the decisions and the regulation of the Council of the European Union (EU) that have kept my name in its so-called terrorist blacklist.
The ECFI has ruled that the judgments of the Dutch State Council and the Legal Uniformity Chamber about my asylum case and those of The Hague District Court and Appellate Court about the false charge of murder, do not relate to the instigation of investigations or prosecution or to a conviction for terrorist activity, contrary to the requirements of European Community Law. Said court judgments in The Netherlands are in fact favorable to me but have been maliciously misinterpreted by the Council.
I thank all the people and organized forces in various countries for standing in solidarity with me in the struggle for my rights against the blacklist since 2002. I thank my international battery of lawyers for providing excellent legal assistance. I thank the International DEFEND Committee for rallying support for me beyond the confines of the court.
The main point in the ECFI judgment on my Case T-341/07 against the Council of EU is the removal of my name from the blacklist. As a consequence, my small bank account is unfrozen and I am allowed to engage in financial dealings like anyone else normally does. The ECFI judgment opens the way for me to exercise and enjoy the rights that have been curtailed and suppressed due to the false charge of terrorism.
As my lawyers and the International DEFEND Committee have pointed out, I am now in the position of being able to do the following: 1) to claim back the social payments for living allowance, housing, health insurance and old age pension which have been withdrawn from me since 2002; 2) to render professional services with remuneration or seek gainful employment; 3) to secure legal admission as a refugee and a residence permit; 4) to travel freely without restrictions; 5) to be free from being demonized and stigmatized as a terrorist; and 6) to claim moral and material damages for what I have suffered since 2002.
I agree with and endorse the call of the International DEFEND Committee to all its adherents, supporters and friends to celebrate my legal victory in the European Court and at the same time to become more determined than ever before in demanding that the Dutch government, Council of the EU and certain other governments to change their hostile policy towards me. The Dutch government and the Council of the EU must cease and desist from being the vehicles of false charges and tools of persecution of the US and Philippine governments against me.
It is a matter of justice that my rights are fully respected and I am allowed to act freely and fruitfully as the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and not be persecuted and placed under duress.