ADELISA by Kiri Dalena is one of an series of short Public Service Announcements on the human rights situation in the Philippines produced by progressive film artists in that country. Click menu for other films such as The Disappeared, Where is Jonas?, Ignorante and LOST AND FOUND. These films were screened in Montreal along with a sneak preview of a new short film by Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy, Philippines: War on the people, on December 10, 2007. Forty-five people attended the event held at the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre to mark International Human Rights Day.
Un nouveau court-métrage documentaire sur les assassinats politiques aux Philippines sera lancé le 10 décembre pour marquer la Journée internationale des droits de la personne. Le documentaire, Philippines, War on the people, de Marie Boti et Malcolm Guy vient dans la foulé de la campagne international pour dénoncer la vague d'assassinats et d'enlèvements politiques qui se deferle sur l'archipel philippin depuis l'arrivée au pouvoir de la Présidente Gloria Macapagal Arroyo en 2001. Le film suit l'histoire de Dr. Chandu Claver, un dirigeant autochtone qui a été victime d'une attaque par les militaires, attaque qui a pris la vie de son épouse Alice en 2006. Le docteur Claver a fait partie d' une délégation philippine qui a visité le Canada au printemps 2007.
Le couple Boti et Guy sont rentré à Montréal la semaine dernière suivant un séjour de recherche aux Philippines ou ils travaillent sur un nouveau documentaire. Ils discuteront de la conjoncture actuelle dans ce pays du sud-est asiatique ou la crise politique s'aiguise et le gouvernement est plus isolé que jamais.
Date et heure: Lundi le 10 décembre de 17h à 19h
Lieu: Centre Simon Bolivar, 394 de Maisonneuve ouest (Métro Place des Arts)
A new short film by Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy, Philippines: War on the people will be launched December 10, 2007 in Montreal to mark International Human Rights Day. The film looks at the international campaign, including a 2007 tour in Canada, to oppose the wave of politically-motivated killings and abductions in the Philippines since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo came to power in 2001. Featured in the film are indigenous leader Dr. Chandu Claver, whose wife Alice was gunned down in 2006, and the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal Second Session on the Philippines held in The Hague, Netherlands earlier this year.
CAP-CPC members Boti and Guy, just returned from a one-month research trip to the Philippines, will discuss the making of their film and the present situation in this South East Asian nation, where young military officers are rebelling, massive displacements of populations continue, and the Arroyo regime is more isolated than ever.
The event will be held Monday, December 10 between 5 and 7 pm at the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre, 394 de Maisonneuve West (Metro Place-des-Arts).
*Photos courtesy of Arkibongbayan
To view more photos of this event, please click onto our CAP-CPC Flickr account.
The activity will take place on Sunday, November 11 at 2pm at the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre on 394 de Maisonneuve (metro Place-des-Arts).
The CAP-CPC Women's committee is an active member of the March 8th Coordination and Action Committee in Montreal.
de diverses origines pour le 8 mars» présente
Les Philippines et le Népal: deux expériences
2- Une photographe montréalaise fera un rapport de son voyage au Népal avec projection de photos
Date: 11 novembre 2007 à 14h00
Lieu: Centre Culturel Simon Bolivar, 394 de Maisonneuve (à l'ouest du métro Place-des-Arts)
the protest action outside the office of the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological
Diversity in Montreal. The Centre for Philippine Concerns, a member of the International
League of People's Struggles, opposes the New Zealand government's suppression of the
Moari and environmental activists and the "terrorist" labeling of these same acttivists.
These are the same tactics used by the Philippines in the suppression of Filipino activists.
Attached is the press statement of the Maori Solidarity Committee in Montreal.
Protest New Zealand's bid for UN Human Rights Council
IN SUPPORT OF IMPRISONED ACTIVISTS IN NEW ZEALAND
Montreal. Last week in Aotearoa /New Zealand, Maori sovereignty
campaigners, environmental, peace and social justice activists, were
targeted in military-style raids under the post 9/11 Terrorism Suppression
Act, and are being painted in the media as terrorists. Police raided
homes, confiscated possessions and imprisoned at least seventeen mainly
Maori activists in a military-style operation. Amongst those arrested was
prominent Maori activist and community worker Tame Iti, who has been
denied bail along with eleven others.
"We are not terrorists - we've been terrorised" read banners on a 1500
strong demonstration on Friday in the small town of Whakatane, in
solidarity with the arrestees.
Protests this week continue across Aotearoa/New Zealand. In the USA,
Australia, Germany, Greece, and South Africa, people are denouncing New
Zealand's targeting of Indigenous sovereignty campaigners – and making
links between last week's raids, and an international trend of labeling
legitimate political dissent "terrorist".
On Monday, October 22, 2007 at 13h, we are protesting last week's raids,
and drawing attention to Canada and Aotearoa/New Zealand's hypocracy with
respect to the rights of Indigenous peoples.
Last month, New Zealand and Canada were among only 4 governments to vote
against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. On 13
September 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) with 143 member states voting in
favor, eleven abstaining, and Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US
voting against the Declaration. New Zealand is now waging a militarized
campaign against Maori sovereignty, environmental and social justice
activists. Shamelessly, New Zealand announced its candidacy for the UN
Human Rights Council for the period 2009-2012 this past Friday.
Maori advocacy for self-determination was portrayed a domestic "terrorist"
threat in Aotearoa long before 9/11 and long after colonization of the
We stand in solidarity with those in Aotearoa/New Zealand, like here in
Canada, who continue to be terrorized and persecuted by legislation that
criminalizes dissent, particularly those most affected – Indigenous
Peoples and immigrants of colour.
New Zealand repression echos events here in Canada
New Zealand police raids echo the treatment of Indigenous activists in
Canada. Similarly, so-called anti-terror laws are used to label dissent –
especially the dissent of Indigenous peoples – as criminal and terrorist.
Internationally, Canada and New Zealand have consistently attempted to
block the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This summer, Tyendinaga Mohawk activist Shawn Brant was arrested after
blockades of rail lines and highways on Tyendinaga land. A leader in his
community's struggle, he has been portrayed as a criminal and terrorist.
Like Tame Iti, Shawn was jailed in July 2007, and was denied bail until
the end of August.
Communities in the Mohawk territories of Kahnawake, Akwesasne, and
Kanehsatake are all too familiar with racist government repression and
attacks. In Kahnawake in 1990 and in Kanehsatake in 1994 the Canadian
government used the military to attack and repress Mohawk people. In 2006,
we saw heavy police repression in Six Nations when Indigenous activists
reclaimed their land. This summer's police crackdown after the June 29th
days of action are proof that colonialism is alive and well in Canada in
the 21st century.
Repression hidden beneath laws to supposedly fight 'terror' has become all
We call on people to expose and oppose the New Zealand government's
repressive actions. We strongly oppose New Zealand's bid for a place on
the UN Human Rights Council for its clear suppression of the legitimate00
right to dissent, and for the ongoing violent repression of the Maori
people. We demand in that New Zealand government release those arrested
and apologize to the Tuhoe.
WHEN: Monday, October 22, 13h
WHERE: Outside the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological
Diversity, 413, Saint Jacques Street, Montreal
CONTACT: Maori Solidarity Committee 514-839-4661
Arnel met with several union federations in Quebec including representatives from the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN) and the Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ). He also met with the Centre international de solidarité ouvrière (CISO- International Centre for Workers' Solidarity) campaign committee on sweatshops. Salvador exposed the situation in the Cavite Export Processing Zone where thousands of workers, mostly women, face the exploitative labour practices of foreign multi-national corporations. One of the most notorious is Wal-Mart, where a strike for the right to unionize at one of its Philippine suppliers, the Chong Won clothing factory, has been violently attacked.
CAP-CPC contacts among college professors were mobilized to help organize talks in schools to inform students about the high cost of low priced goods that corporate giants like Wal-Mart provide. It was an important part of building solidarity with a new generation of young Canadians.
On Saturday, October 20, the Filipino Association of Montreal and Suburbs (FAMAS) co-hosted a community forum with Arnel as the main speaker in the FAMAS Community Centre. Present were representatives from Filipino community organizations like the Federation of Filipino Associations of Quebec, NGO's like Development and Peace and social activists based in Montreal. This event was a first step for future collaboration between the well-established Filipino community organizations, the Centre for Philippine Concerns and other concerned organizations on issues such as the extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations happening in the Philippines.
Arnel is returning to the Philippines satisfied that he has gained concrete support from organizations in Montreal. Many of the people and organizations he had met gave their commitment to continue their links and raise financial support for the WAC, organize a Canadian Labour delegation to the Philippines, and lobby Canadian government to pressure the Arroyo administration to put a stop to the ongoing human rights violations in the Philippines.
More photos of Arnel's visit in Montreal
Public Service Alliance of Canada hosts Arnel
Bataille syndicale aux Philippines - article de CISO
Workers Assistance Centre
Featured Guest Speaker:
Arnel Salvador -- Deputy Executive Director
1 pm - Saturday, October 20, 2007
FAMAS community centre - 4708 Van Horne (Metro Plamondon)
Organized by the Centre for Philippine Concerns
in collaboration with Filipino Association of Montreal and Suburbs (FAMAS)
Mr. Salvador, a long time human and labour rights advocate, will be presenting the situation on the ground in a
For more information please contact Sid de Guzman of the Centre for Philippine Concerns:
Nous aimerions vous informer de la visite prochaine à Montréal (du 15-21 octobre, 2007) de Arnel V. Salvador, du Workers Assistance Center de Cavite, Philippines.
Arnel fait une tournée à Toronto et Ottawa actuellement, et viendra à Montréal après. Sa visite fera suite au séjour de son collègue, Renato Pambid, parmi nous plus töt cette année, et sera l'occasion pour nous d'avoir des nouvelles fraiches de la lutte en cours chez Chong Won, un fournisseur de Wal-Mart. Vous trouverez ci-joint un bref curriculum vitae de Arnel en anglais.
Arnel attend sa visite avec impatience, et il aimerais bien rencontrer des gens et des organismes intéressés par le travail du WAC à Montréal. Son voyage en Ontario et dans l'ouest du Canada est coordonné par Kairos Canada.
Le Comité de solidarité ouvrière du Centre d'appui aux Philippines aidera à coordonner son séjour à Montréal. On serait heureux d'organiser une rencontre/visite avec Arnel pour vous.
Pour rejoindre les membres du Comité de solidarité ouvrière du CAP-CPC: email@example.com
We would like to inform you of the upcoming visit to Montreal (October 15 - 21, 2007) by Arnel V. Salvador from the Workers Assistance Center in Cavite, Philippines.
Arnel has been visiting in Toronto and Ottawa and is now planning to come to our city. He would like to follow up on the trip to Montreal earlier this year by Renato Pambid of the WAC and bring us up-to-date on the ongoing struggle at the Wal Mart supplier, Chong Won. You can find his short curriculum vitae below.
Arnel would be pleased to meet with interested parties during his Montreal trip and is very excited about visiting Quebec. His trip to Ontario and to western Canada is being coordinating by Kairos Canada.
In Montreal the Workers' Committee of the Centre d'appui aux Philippines / Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) will be helping to coordinate his trip. They would be pleased to arrange to have you meet with Arnel.
You can contact the members of the Workers' Committee of the CAP-CPC at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arnel Villorente Salvador - Workers Assistance Center
Arnel V. Salvador is a seasoned but low-profile activist in the Southern Tagalog region south of Manila, capital of Philippines. At present, he is the deputy executive director of the Workers Assistance Center, Inc., or WAC since 1998. As deputy executive director, he is in-charge of the whole organizing program of WAC in Cavite and Batangas provinces.
He was the main researcher in a research-study contracted by WAC in 1996 that established and had become a basic data/information about the real working conditions of the workers employed in the Cavite Export Processing Zone, the biggest government-owned and controlled free trade zone in the Philippines. This research provided WAC, which was still in its formative stage then, a basic tool for its education and information services that led to the formation of several workers unions in different export-oriented economic zones inside the province of Cavite.
Prior to his work at WAC for the labor sector, Salvador was the Regional Coordinator of KAPATID, a human rights organizations composed of friends and relatives of political detainees from 1986-87. He was also the Secretary-General of the Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace in Southern Tagalog (EMJP-ST), a church-backed human rights and peace organization, from 1988 to 1995.
As a labor rights advocate, he had been invited to speak about the Filipino workers conditions in the free trade zones in some events/gatherings abroad. Last year, he went to the USA on three-week speaking tour with a worker to expose the anti-labor character of the Wal-Mart’s codes of conduct and to gather support for the striking workers of a Wal-Mart supplier in Cavite.
Sarwat Viqar, Kelti Cameron and I visited the site of the blockade at Sharbot Lake in Ontario on the Thanksgiving weekend .
Her sister in law Regina Kinnud said that "the police came to our door andstarted asking questions about Jocelyn. When we asked why, they said that she was dead". Shocked by thenews, Regina said that Jocelyn was "quiet andhappy person".
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel
Chairperson, International League of Peoples' Struggle
3 October 2007
I am elated by the decision of the Court of Appeals rejecting the demand of the Public Prosecutor's Office for my detention in connection with the investigation of the false and politically motivated charge of ordering or inciting the killing of the two notorious military and police agents Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
The Court of Appeals decision upholds the earlier decision of the District Court of The Hague releasing me from incommunicado detention on the ground that there is no sufficient evidence against me. It goes even further by declaring essentially that there is no prima facie evidence against me. It categorically states that there is no direct evidence to link me to the aforesaid killings and that I am not a criminal perpetrator in any sense.
The Court of Appeals has clarified that for anyone to play a prominent role on behalf of any revolutionary political party or movement in general or in abstracto is no proof of criminal wrongdoing. Direct concrete evidence is necessary to prove any criminal act. The decision has profound implications and has far reaching consequences not only on the question of preventive detention but also on the validity of the charge.
The Court further notes that the charge against me must be seen in their political context and that the statements given by the various witnesses cannot be simply accepted as reliable. It also expresses its doubt as to my ability to fully exercise my right to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses in view of the terrible human rights situation and the dangers to my lawyers.
The prosecution witnesses had been mainly, if not entirely, supplied by the Manila government to Dutch investigators who went to the
The biggest anomaly is that the Dutch prosecutors construe as acts of murder the killings of Kintanar and Tabara whereas in 2006 the prosecutors of the
On their own account, the Communist Party of the
The decision of the Court of Appeals is the triumph of justice. In this regard, I thank the judges, G. Oosterhof as Chairperson and G. P. A. Aler and F. Heemskerk as members. Likewise, I thank my counsel Michiel Pestman of Bohler Franken Koppe and Wijngaarden law office and all the parties, institutions, organizations, personages and broad masses of the people who have stood in solidarity with me in order to defend my rights and support my cause against injustice.
I hope that soon the Dutch prosecutors drop the false and politically motivated charge against me. The District Court of The Hague and the Court of Appeals have pointed to the lack of direct and sufficient evidence against me in ruling against my return to solitary confinement. They have exposed the baselessness of the charge against me in fact and in law. I also hope that the prosecutors return to the panelists, consultants and staffers of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines the computers, cameras, publications, papers, digital files and other things seized in the police raids of 28 August.
It is best that we reacquire the means for exercising our democratic rights in The Netherlands and that we can continue to work for the national and social liberation of the Filipino people, defend human rights against the gross and systematic violations thereof in the Philippines and promote a just peace through the resumption of the formal talks in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
LA LIGUE INTERNATIONALE DES LUTTES DES PEUPLES APPUIE LE PEUPLE BIRMAN ET CONDAMNE LE REGIME MILITAIRE
Jose Maria Sison
Président, Comité international de coordination
Ligue internationale des luttes des peuples
Le 28 septembre 2007
Les actions de masse en Birmanie ont débuté suite à la hausse de plus de 500% du prix de l'essence approuvée par le régime au profit des monopoles d'État du gaz et du pétrole et des compagnies pétrolières étrangères. Par la suite, le mouvement populaire s'est étendu à une vaste série de revendications. L'immense majorité du peuple birman vit dans la pauvreté, résultat de la corruption du régime militaire et de l'exploitation du pays par les monopoles étrangers. Le mouvement démocratique populaire s'est élargi au point de mobiliser les moines bouddhistes qui demeurent très respectés en Birmanie.
De toutes manières, qu'y a-t-il de plus antidémocratique que l'imposition par le régime Bush de régimes pantin dépourvus de quelque soutien populaire que ce soit, comme c'est présentement le cas en Irak et en Afghanistan? Dans sa propre arrière-cour, la police vient d'attaquer et d'arrêter pas moins de 200 personnes lors de la manifestation anti-guerre tenue le 15 septembre à Washington. Quelques jours plus auparavant, l'épouse de George W. Bush, Laura, avait tenu une conférence de presse à
Ce que les États-Unis et les autres puissances impérialistes recherchent d'abord et avant tout en Birmanie, c'est la stabilité. Peu importe, pour elles, que cette stabilité soit assurée par une dictature fasciste ou dans le cadre d'une démocratie bourgeoise: un environnement stable qui favorise les investissements des capitalistes monopolistes étrangers est ce qui importe le plus. Voilà pourquoi les puissances impérialistes et leurs marionnettes s'opposent aux revendications populaires pour la libération nationale, la démocratie, la justice sociale, le développement et la paix.
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
28 September 2007
The International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) supports the people of
The mass protests started by denouncing the 500% fuel price increase approved by the regime for the benefit of the state gas and oil monopoly and foreign oil companies. Since then, the people's movement has put forward a comprehensive range of grievances. The great majority of the people live in poverty as a result of corruption by the military regime and exploitation of foreign monopoly corporations. The people's democratic movement has become so broad as to involve the militant participation of the Buddhist monks who are highly respected in
The ILPS condemns the hypocritical statements of George W. Bush and other leaders of imperialist powers. These have in fact conducted business with the Burmese military regime and served to prolong its rule. Their protestations about democracy ring hollow. US companies are the fourth biggest foreign investors in
What can be more undemocratic than what Bush is doing in foisting puppet regimes with no popular support on the people of
The ILPS supports the Burmese peoples struggle for the dismantling of the military regime and for democracy. At the same time, the ILPS denounces the attempts of imperialist powers to take advantage of the events in
The Justice for Joma Committee –
The protest actions were held in Prof. Sison, a vocal critic of the Philippine government and their backers in
Prof. Sison, a vocal critic of the Philippine government and their backers in
“As a political refugee here in
“As someone who spent three years imprisoned and tortured for my political beliefs, I feel very strongly about this case and would be ready to give up my place here in
Michael Pestman, the Dutch lawyer for Prof. Sison, has reported that “no new evidence was presented” during the hearing on the appeal of Dutch prosecutors to try to reverse the earlier decision of the Dutch court releasing Sison.
According to reports, the court will come out with a decision on the Dutch prosecutor’s appeal on October 3, 2007. The Justice for Joma Committee –
- 27 September 2007
- The Netherlands Court of Appeals heard arguments yesterday on whether Professor Jose Maria Sison should remain free or be returned to prison. The court decision will be released 9:30 am on Wednesday, 3 October.
- The Dutch government prosecutors appealed the 13 September decision of The Hague District Court which released Prof. Sison from prison. The District Court declared that the prosecutors did not have sufficient evidence to prove charges that Prof. Sison ordered the killing of Romulo Kintanar in 2003 and Arturo Tabara in 2004.
- The Court of Appeals yesterday heard arguments from the Dutch government prosecutor, and from defense counsel Michiel Pestman. The three-member panel of judges also gave Prof. Sison an opportunity to present his statement in court. Also present in the courtroom was Prof. Sison's wife, Julie de Lima.
- Prof. Sison and his defense counsel Michiel Pestman of the famous Böhler, Franken, Koppe, Wijngaarden law firm expressed confidence that the decision of The Hague District Court would be upheld because the prosecution failed to present any direct evidence or argument that could cause its reversal by the Court of Appeals. However, they refrained from going into any detail because the appeal is still sub judice.
- Representatives of member-organizations of the Defend Jose Maria Sison Campaign network from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, held a picket outside the court house to denounce the continuing persecution of Prof. Sison and to demand the dropping of the false charges against him.
- Committee DEFEND International
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2007
Never Again to Martial Law: Justice for Joma Committee - Canada marks 35th Anniversary of Philippine Martial Law
Thirty five years ago today, on September 21, 1972, the US-backed dictatorship of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in the
Three and a half decades later the US-backed Macapagal-Arroyo regime in the
Malcolm Guy of the Justice for Joma Committee -
On this anniversary of martial law in the Philippines we salute all those Filipinos, like Prof. Sison, who continue to fight for true democracy and peace with justice in the Philippines, who continue to struggle for a government representing the interests of the overwhelming majority of the Philippine people, who continue to stand up for a country freed of foreign multinationals and foreign troops where Filipinos will no longer be forced to migrate in their millions to find a decent job, good education and security.
On September 26, 2007, the Justice for Joma Committee -
We agree fully with Dr. Carol Pagaduan Araullo, chair of the progressive Philippine organization, Bayan, who writes: "(W)hen we say Never again! we mean not only 'Never again to fascist dictatorship, killings, massacres, torture and all these gross human rights violations'. We should also mean NEVER AGAIN to plunder, crony capitalism, kleptocracy, unbridled ambition, abuse of power and puppetry to foreign interests."
That’s why we say:
Stop the killings in the
Never again to Martial Law !
Justice for Prof. Jose Maria Sison !
Justice for Joma Committee -
Centre for Philippine Concerns -
Victory! Prof. Jose Maria Sison walks free / Les organisations canadiennes fêtent la libération de Joma Sison
Montreal – Filipino migrant organizations and solidarity groups across Canada, members of the Free Joma Sison Committee, are celebrating the release today of Filipino anti-imperialist leader Prof. Jose Maria (Joma) Sison, unjustly imprisoned by Dutch authorities on August 28, 2007.
Prof. Sison is a political refugee who has been living in exile for 20 years in Utrecht, Netherlands. As the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Prof. Sison has been instrumental in pursuing peace talks between the Philippine government and the Philippine revolutionary organization. Sison was a political prisoner for over a decade under former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The Free Joma Sison Committee in Canada held a series of actions including protest letters, fax barrages and rallies in various Canada cities after Prof. Sison’s arrest. They were part of a world-wide reaction to the attempted criminalization of Prof. Sison’s political activities. Dutch prosecutors, in obvious cooperation with the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Manila, had alleged that Prof. Sison ordered the killings in the Philippines of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara. But today, a Dutch court ruled that there was not enough evidence to prove Sison committed the crimes in collusion with others or that he incited others to kill the victims. In other words, the case is groundless.
Of course, the struggle is far from over and we will have to remain vigilant and continue our actions to have the charges dropped. The Dutch national prosecutor’s office has said it will appeal the court’s decision to release Sison. Also, the national police still “consider him a suspect,” according to the national prosecutor's office. The Philippine government will not give up its attempts to silence one of its strongest and most principled opponents.
But our united struggle has paid off to date. We wish we could have been at the NDFP office in Utrecht when Prof. Sison was welcomed by his wife Juliet de Lima, friends and colleagues from the National Democratic Front including Luis Jalandoni and Connie Ledesma, and dozens of well wishers. Mabuhay to Prof. Joma Sison and his family. We confirm our intention to support the ongoing struggle to clear his name and have all charges against him thrown out.
Letter from Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Friends, Warmest greetings!
I am deeply pleased and thankful that the Rechtsbank has decided
to release me from detention. You cannot imagine how happy I am.
It is extremely painful and humiliating to be subjected to
solitary confinement and tough interrogation under overheated
lamps. The ordeal is acute because I am innocent of the false
and politically-motivated charge leveled against me.
I have nothing to do with any murder. This is against my moral
and political principles. I am a teacher by profession who loves
the exchange of ideas towards common understanding and practical
cooperation. I have long devoted myself to the advocacy of human
rights and work for a just peace in the
. I Philippines
cannot go into the facts and arguments concerning my case. It is
my lawyer Michiel Pestman who is competent to give you the
information that you need.
Consequent to the release order of the Rechtsbank, I gain some
confidence in the Dutch legal system. I have the opportunity to
prove my innocence and continue to benefit from fair play.
I feel somehow vindicated in choosing The Netherlands as my place
of refuge from persecution in the
. I also wish to Philippines
thank the Dutch, Filipino and other peoples for their solidarity
I will stay in the
with my wife and my two children Netherlands
who are already independent. I will conduct my legal defense and
further clear my name. I will continue to exercise my freedom to
speak and other democratic rights. I will continue to work for
national freedom, human rights, social justice and an enduring,
because just, peace in the
I will continue to abide by the laws of the Dutch state and
further develop solidarity with the Dutch people whose friendship
and kindness I have enjoyed for more than 20 years.
la libération de Jose Maria Sison
Le professeur Sison est un réfugié politique qui a vécu en exil pendant 20 ans à Utrecht, aux Pays-Bas. En tant que principal consultant politique du Front national démocratique des Philippines (NDFP), le professeur Sison a joué un rôle crucial dans le cadre des négociations de paix menées entre le gouvernement des Philippines et l'organisation révolutionnaire philippine. Sous la dictature de Ferdinand Marcos, Sison a été prisonnier politique pendant dix ans.
Dès que le professeur Sison a été arrêté et emprisonné, un Comité pour la libération de Joma Sison a été formé au Canada et ce dernier a organisé une série d'activités, entre autres des campagnes d'envoi de lettres de protestation par la poste et par télécopieur, des manifestations et des conférences dans plusieurs villes du Canada après l'arrestation du professeur Sison. Ces activités font partie de la riposte mondiale qui s'est développé face à la tentative de criminaliser les activités politiques du professeur Sison. Les procureurs des Pays-Bas, en coopération évidente avec le gouvernement de Gloria Macapagal Arroyo à Manille, ont accusé faussement le professeur Sison d'avoir ordonné la mort de Romulo Kintanar et d'Arturo Tabara aux Philippines. Or aujourd'hui la cour des Pays-Bas a statué qu'il n'y a pas assez de preuves indiquant que Sison ait commis des crimes en collusion avec des tiers ou qu'il ait incité des tiers à tuer les victimes en question. En d'autres termes le cas sans fondement.
Mais la lutte est loin d'être terminée. Nous devrons en effet rester sur nos gardes et poursuivre nos activités afin d'obtenir l'abandon des accusations. Le bureau du procureur du gouvernement des Pays-Bas a déclaré, d'une part, qu'il en appelerait de la décision de la Cour de libérer Sison et que, d'autre part, la police nationale continue de le considérer comme étant un "suspect". Le gouvernement philippin ne cessera pas ses efforts visant à faire taire l'un de ses opposants les plus puissants et les plus intègres.
Mais, pour l'instant, notre lutte conjointe a été couronnée de succès. Nous aurions voulu être à Utrecht, dans le bureau du Front national démocratique des Philippines lorsque le professeur Sison a été accueilli par sa femme Juliet de Lima, par ses amies/is et par ses compagnes/gnons de lutte du Front national démocratique, entre autres Luis Jalandoni et Connie Ledesma, ainsi que des dizaines de personnes qui sont venues pour le féliciter. «Mabuhay» («Félicitations» en Tagalog) au professeur Joma Sison et à sa famille! Nous réitérons notre engagement à appuyer la lutte actuelle pour que son nom ne soit plus sali et pour mettre fin à toute accusation pesant contre lui.
Prof. Sison, one of the best known and most vocal opponents of the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her backers in Washington, was arrested for allegedly ordering the killings of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in the Philippines, the homeland he has not visited in 20 years.
“Prof. Sison is a strong anti-imperialist freedom fighter, not a criminal,” said Joe Calugay, coordinator of the Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (Ottawa). “His only crime it to have fought side-by-side with the Philippine people for justice, liberation from foreign domination and fundamental political and social change to benefit the overwhelming majority of the people in his homeland.”
“We are very concerned that he is being kept in isolation in the Scheveningen Penitential Facility, the very prison used by the Nazis to hold and torture Dutch resistance fighters during WWII,” Calugay told the demonstrators. The last time he was imprisoned like this was during the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. Here he is again deprived of his basic rights as a prisoner in what we thought was a civilized and humane society.”
Domestic helpers and other migrant workers at the picket said they felt a strong connection to Prof. Sison because, like them, he was forced to live thousands of miles from his beloved homeland. They said they admired his efforts to change the social and political situation in the Philippines so that millions of Filipinos would no longer be obliged to seek temporary, often unprotected and poorly paid employment in hundreds of countries around the globe.
“We can only wonder if increasing Dutch investments in the Philippines is the real motive behind Prof. Sison’s arrest,” said Malcolm Guy, coordinator for the Centre for Philippine Concerns in Montreal. “Dutch-owned Premier Oil was recently granted rights to drill for oil in Ragay Gulf area of the Philippines. Holland is one of the major investors in the Philippines, with 150 Dutch companies including Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever siphoning huge profits from the country.”
Anna Rijk, Public Diplomacy Officer at the Embassy, met with the picketers who asked her to take their demands to Ambassador Karel P.M. de Beer and request the immediate release of Prof. Jose Maria Sison. “We Filipinos in Canada and elsewhere will never rest until you free this courageous and principled man,” one demonstrator told her.
Ms. Rijk claimed that the murder case is now in the hands of the Dutch judicial system, so there was little the Embassy could do. “We all know that the Dutch police would never have arrested a world renowned political refugee like Prof. Sison without a green light from top authorities in the Dutch government. This is a political case disguised as a criminal case, so therefore we do not accept that your hands are tied and ask that the Embassy transmit our demand for Prof. Sison’s release.” Malcolm Guy replied.
An ongoing fax and e-mail barrage based on the following letter has been organized across Canada over the last two weeks calling on the Dutch government to release Prof. Sison. Please add your voice to the protest :
His Excellency KAREL P.M. DE BEER
Royal Netherlands Embassy
Constitution Square Building
350 Albert Street, suite 2020
Ottawa, ON K1R 1A4
fax: +1613 237-6471
phone: +1613 237-5030
I, ____________________, would like to register my strong condemnation for the arrest of Professor Jose Maria Sison, 68, by Dutch Police on what I believe are trumped up charges of “incitement to murders”.
I hereby demand that the Royal Netherlands government order the immediate and unconditional release of Prof. Jose Maria Sison. I also register my total disapproval of the raids on the homes of other progressive Filipino migrants and refugees in the Netherlands.
As you know, Professor Sison has been a political refugee in the Netherlands for nearly 20 years under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Sison was arrested August 28, 2007 for the murders of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara -- in the Philippines, although he has not set foot in that country for 20 years.
I maintain that the real reasons for Professor Sison's arrest are political... not criminal. Prof. Jose Maria Sison has been a leading figure of the Philippine national democratic revolution for almost forty years. He is one of the pioneers who revived the anti-imperialist movement in the Philippines in the early 1960s and he re-established the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). For nine years, he was the most prominent political prisoner of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Sison admits having been the founder and first chairman of the CPP, from its re-establishment in 1968 until his capture by the Marcos regime in 1977, but today he clearly states he is only the chief political consultant of the NDF and is not in the leadership of the New People’s Army or the CPP.
The Philippine government has been plotting to try to silence Professor Sison for many years. They now seem to have worked out a deal with your government to criminalize and gag one of the most influential and vocal critics of the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
They want Professor Sison out of the way because, as the Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF), he embodies the aspirations of the Filipino people in the over 30-year old struggle they are waging for the country's national and social liberation. He personifies the spirit of true and genuine international solidarity necessary to bring about a just and lasting peace. And he has been at the forefront of the campaign to put an end to the 850 extrajudicial politically-motivated killings and 200 forced disappearances that have been perpetrated with impunity during the government of President Arroyo. (See recent report by Professor Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.)
I find the timing of this arrest particularly suspicious since earlier this year the European Court of First Instance annulled the Council of the European Union (EU) decision blacklisting Prof. Sison as a "terrorist".
I concur with Supreme Bishop Millamena of the Philippine Independent Church, who said in a recent interview: "Prof. Sison is not a terrorist. All he does is to fight with the poor for a life in dignity. That is a legitimate struggle”. Former Philippine Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Jr. has also said that “one needs to make a distinction between a rebel who is fighting because of hunger and perceived injustice, and a terrorist who seeks to sow terror and hatred”.
I reiterate my call to the Dutch government and police to immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against Professor Jose Maria Sison.
Signed in (city)
Luis G. Jalandoni
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
September 09, 2007
The NDFP has reliable information that Deputy National Security Adviser Pedro Cabuay, Jr. and Director General Cesar Garcia of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency are in The Netherlands to request Dutch authorities to share with them what they presume as a wealth of intelligence that the Dutch police have gathered from the raids on the NDFP Information Office and six houses simultaneous with the arrest of Prof. Sison on 28 August 2007.
The NDFP had previously warned the Dutch authorities through its lawyer Mr. Bernard Tomlow on 5 September that they would be held accountable if more extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of political opponents of the Arroyo regime would occur as a result of sharing of intelligence information to Philippine intelligence agencies or to the CIA. Professor François Houtart and Secretary General Gianni Tognoni of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal have also expressed deep concerns over the safety of the Tribunal's witnesses, after learning that the Dutch authorities also seized visual, written and recorded material related to the Tribunal's Second Session on the Philippines.
Generals Cabuay, Jr. and Garcia are directly responsible for implementing the Arroyo government's national internal security plan Oplan Bantay Laya, which has resulted to nearly 900 extrajudicial killings and more than 200 enforced disappearances of known political activists and leaders of opposition groups. The enforced disappearance of NDFP Consultant Rogelio Calubad and his son Gabriel on 17 June 2006 in Calauag, Quezon province was perpetrated by forces of the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), then under the command of General Cabuay, Jr.
Sharing information with Philippine intelligence agencies and the CIA would pose a very real danger to the lives of those who have been in communication with the NDFP in connection with the peace negotiations and other matters.
We wish to remind the Dutch government that the Arroyo regime has already been censured by the Amnesty International, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the European Union and other governments for the rampant extrajudicial killings of nearly 900 and enforced disappearances of more than 200 political opponents of Arroyo.
The whole world knows about the capacity of the Arroyo regime to commit the worst forms of human rights violations. The Dutch government has already helped Arroyo in deflecting attention from her crimes by arresting Prof. Jose Maria Sison for obviously trumped up charges. It would be complicit to future extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the Philippines if it shares intelligence information to Philippine intelligence agencies. #
Increasing Dutch investments in Philippines tied to Joma arrest
Davao Today / September 2, 2007
MANILA –- Does the increasing number of Dutch investments in the Philippines have anything to do with the arrest last week in the Netherlands of Filipino communist leader Jose Maria Sison? Sison’s supporters in the Philippines certainly think so.
Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran, in a statement on Saturday, said the Arroyo government recently approved an oil exploration project by British, US and Dutch companies and that this, among others, “may have helped close the deal of cooperation” between Malacanang and the Dutch government to raid the office of the National Democratic Front in Utrecht and arrest Sison, its chief political consultant.