Prof. Sison’s legal victory exposes failure of Arroyo regime’s scheme

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel warmly congratulates Prof. Jose Maria Sison, its Chief Political Consultant, and his Dutch and Filipino lawyers led by Michiel Pestman, for their great legal victory with the dismissal of the false charge against Prof. Sison. For more than nineteen months, from August 28, 2007 until March 31, 2009, the Dutch prosecutors, with the collusion of the Arroyo regime and the US, tried in vain to pin down Prof. Sison with the false charge of involvement in the killing of two military assets of the regime.

Prior to the arrest of Prof. Sison in August 2007, the Dutch prosecutors with the collaboration of the Arroyo regime, especially General Eduardo Ermita and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, heard testimonies in the US embassy, the Dutch embassy and former US air base in Clark Field in the Philippines, as well as testimonies in The Netherlands, seeking to make the false charge against Prof. Sison stick. But to no avail. Prof. Sison and his lead lawyer Michiel Pestman, supported by Filipino lawyers led by Atty. Romeo T. Capulong, put up a strong defense.

It is not surprising that Norberto Gonzales is upset by the failure of their scheme. He after all was tasked by the fake president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to look after this case against Prof. Sison.

As head of the Inter-agency Legal Action Group (IALAG), the agency tasked to trump up charges against the legal opposition and leaders and members of progressive organizations, and to cover up the criminal acts of military and police personnel responsible for extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances, his efforts since January 2006, a period of three years and three months, have all been in vain.

This notorious violator of human rights now talks nonsense about “going after” Prof. Sison and asking the Dutch government to “expel” him. He is ignorant of the decisions of the highest administrative court in The Netherlands, the Raad van State, of 1992 and 1995, declaring that Prof Sison is a recognized political refugee according to Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention, and is covered by the absolute protection of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This Article forbids his being returned to the Philippines, because this article stipulates that he may not be subjected to torture or inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees testified in his favor before the Raad van State. So did Amnesty International.

Prof. Sison and his lawyers, with the wide political support of so many organizations and personages in the Philippines and abroad, have indeed won a great legal victory. Those who fight for justice, democracy and peace rejoice with them.

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