[News] Phillipines - NDF On Sison Arrest

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 29 17:00:53 EDT 2007

NDF sees govt conspiracy in Joma arrest

The National Democratic Front on Wednesday accused the Arroyo 
administration of colluding with the European Union, the Dutch 
government and the United States to arrest Jose Maria Sison, 
self-exiled founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, in the 

NDF chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni said Sison's arrest was meant to 
pressure the National Democratic Front to go back to the negotiating 
table and surrender to the Philippine government.

"These trumped up charges are a violation of Sison's rights. This is 
a form of pressure from the European Union, British ambassador, the 
US and Arroyo regimes to pressure the NDF to enter peace talks under 
the terms of capitulation or surrender," he told ABS-CBN.

Jalandoni said Dutch police tricked Sison into thinking that he was 
being invited to their station to discuss the threats on his life 
only to be detained. The Dutch police had also initially barred 
Sison's lawyer from accompanying him, he added.

He said he was also interrogated by the police for an hour after 
accompanying Sison to the police station. He also confirmed reports 
that the Dutch police raided their houses and the NDF office in Utrecht.

Jalandoni said Sison is scheduled to appear before a judge on Friday 
to decide whether or not the CPP founder will be allowed to be 
released while the investigation is ongoing.

Sison was arrested by the International Crime Investigation Team of 
the Dutch National Criminal Investigation Department to face the 
criminal charges filed against him for allegedly ordering the 
killings of his two former political associates, Romulo Kintanar and 
Arturo Tabara, in the Philippines.

Peace talks between the NDF and the Philippine government collapsed 
in 2004 when Washington and some European states put the New People's 
Army, CPP's armed wing, on their terrorism blacklists.

The NPA is waging an armed rebellion across the archipelago that has 
cost more than 40,000 lives.  President Arroyo sees the NPA as the 
country's most serious security threat and last year declared all-out 
war on the rebels.

Jalandoni, however, said the charges against Sison and his co-accused 
have already been dismissed by the Supreme Court on July 2.

He warned that Sison's persecution will be met with massive protests 
in the Philippines, Hong Kong, US, Canada, Australia and Belgium.

Govt distances self

National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said the Philippine 
government had nothing to do with Sison's arrest since it was done on 
the basis of a complaint filed by relatives of Kintanar and Tabara 
against the communist leader.

Gonzales said the government's only role in the arrest was to provide 
assistance to Dutch police after the complaint was filed.

"Their prosecutors went here to ask for help. When their police ask 
for help from our police through Interpol, we always give assistance. 
That is the role of the government," he told ABS-CBN.

Gonzales said the arrest had nothing to do with the peace talks as 
alleged by some communist leaders. "The best thing to do here is not 
make the peace talks as an excuse. We're talking about justice in 
Joma Sison's case. It's about murder," he said.

He added that sympathizers of the arrested communist leader should 
allow the Dutch government to investigate the case.

Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, meanwhile, questioned reports about the 
criminal complaint against Sison. He said the CPP founder should have 
been informed about the charges before his arrest.

Ocampo said the arrest was meant to scuttle the peace talks between 
the NDF and the Arroyo administration.

"This is not a political crime and there is no extradition treaty 
[between the Netherlands and the Philippines]...This was meant to 
neutralize Sison. They found a hole in Dutch law and used it to sue 
and persecute Sison in the Netherlands," he said.

The lawmaker called on the Dutch government to observe and respect 
Sison's rights as the accused.

Lawmakers, activists chime in

Senators on Wednesday gave different opinions on Sison's arrest.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said Sison's arrest was 
"a good start" to the peace process since it could force the NDF to 
seriously look into peace negotiations with the Philippine 
government. He added, however, that the Arroyo administration should 
be prepared for the possible repercussions of Sison's arrest.

Sen. Francis Escudero urged the administration to clarify whether it 
sees the NPA as a rebel or a terrorist organization since the present 
administration does not negotiate with terrorists. The communist 
insurgency is identified as a terrorist organization by the US and 
European Union.

Left-leaning group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), meanwhile, 
condemned Sison's arrest.

"It is very ironic that a person sincerely working for genuine peace 
and justice is now being tagged as a murderer and a terrorist, while 
the real terrorists like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her [Armed 
Forces] are smiling smugly and continuing their killing spree against 
critics of the regime," said Willy Marbella, KMP's internal deputy 
secretary general.

Youth group Anakbayan, meanwhile, warned that his arrest would spark 
another "red moon rising" in the ranks of youth and student 
democracy-fighters and civil libertarians.

"We demand his release now, that the Philippine government be warned 
of coming up against a youth and student uprising similar to what 
Prof. Sison led during the 70s; a red moon rising for youth and 
student activists of the present generation," Anakbayan chairwoman 
Eleanor de Guzman said.

The youth group also called on all its affiliate and other youth 
organizations around the world to express their condemnation against 
Sison's arrest.

De Guzman said Anakbayan and other youth and student organizations 
will stage an indignation rally at the Dutch Embassy in Makati 
Wednesday to demand Sison's immediate release. With a report from Reuters

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