On the Unjust Arrest, Continuing Detention and Torture of Prof. Jose Maria Sison
A Case of Dutch Imperialist Intervention and Repression and an
Affront to the Right of the Filipino People to Self-Determination
International League of Peoples’ Struggle - Hong Kong
1 September 2007
On the morning of August 28, Filipino political refugee Prof.
Jose Maria Sison was unjustly arrested by the Dutch Police on
trumped-up charges. Simultaneously, raids and ransackings were
conducted on several houses of Filipinos in the Netherlands
including the NDF International Information Office.
Immediately, freedom and peace-loving peoples of the world
condemned in the harshest manner this grave violation of the
rights of Prof. Sison and other Filipino progressives in the
Currently, Prof. Sison is languishing in solitary confinement
and is suffering torture by the Dutch government.
This incident is a clear manifestation of Dutch imperialist
intervention and repression as well as an affront to the right
of the Filipino people to self-determination.
1.Why do we say that the charges are trumped up?
The Dutch police and prosecutors have fabricated charges against
Prof. Sison of ordering the alleged murder of Romulo Kintanar
and Arturo Tabara from the Netherlands. On the bases of these
false charges, Prof. Sison was arrested in an entrapment operation
and the raids of the offices and residences of other Filipinos
in the Netherlands carried out.
However, the so-called charges are obviously trumped up:
(a)The charges are already included in a case that has been
nullified and dismissed with finality by the Philippine Supreme
Court in its decision last July 2, 2007. Together with 50 others,
Prof. Sison has been exonerated and the case has been shown to
be completely without basis and politically motivated.
(b)The specific charges have currently no corresponding cases
in any Philippine court.
(c)Assuming that such charges are filed in Philippine courts,
these would have to fall under the political offense of rebellion
and not as a criminal offense which the Dutch authorities claim
these to be.
Under what right and authority therefore does the Dutch
government seek to intervene in the internal affairs of the
Filipino people by prosecuting Prof. Jose Maria Sison? How
can they utterly disregard Philippine Supreme Court decisions
and choose to fabricate an offense where there is no corresponding
criminal case in Philippine courts?
2.Why do we say that the charges are politically-motivated?
The US-Arroyo regime, through its National Security Adviser
Norberto Gonzales, Philippine National Police Deputy Director
General Avelino Razon, and Secretary of the Department of
Justice Raul Gonzales, has admitted that they have been helping
the Dutch police since January this year in building the case
against Prof. Sison. They have even admitted providing airfare
and travel allowances to the accusers.
(a)This contradicts and belies the statement of the spokesperson
of the Dutch Prosecutors’ Office, Wim de Bruin, that the filing
of the case is exclusively a Dutch initiative.
(b)This clearly shows the conspiracy between the Dutch and
Philippine governments to politically persecute Prof. Sison.
(c)The US government, the main author in the terrorist labeling
of Prof. Sison and the revolutionary movement and number one
supporter of the criminal and murderous Arroyo government,
immediately volunteered to assist in the investigation and
prosecution of Prof. Sison.
(d)This exposes their political agenda of attempting to pressure
the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to capitulate
to the Arroyo government across the negotiating table.
3.What are the economic interests of The Netherlands that prompted
it to side with the US-Arroyo regime – the promoter of repression
and state terrorism in the Philippines?
In exchange for allowing the Dutch government and multinational
corporations the unhampered plunder of Philippine national
resources, the US-Arroyo regime has managed to secure a deal
with the Dutch authorities to persecute Prof. Sison.
(a)The Netherlands is the third largest trading partner and the
second largest foreign investor in the country.
(b)The Netherlands maintains significant business interests in
the Philippines in strategic industries including:
oil industry (Royal Dutch Shell),
petroleum trading, oil and gas exploration (Vitol Group),
consumer product brands in foods, beverages and personal care
coco coir export (Rinos B.V-Corion),
consumer electronics (Phillips),
retail industry (Makro),
solar energy (Shell Solar Philippines, Inc) among others
(c)The US-Arroyo regime has virtually turned over the gas
reserves of Malampaya and the indigenous peoples’ ancestral
lands into agricultural plantations to serve Dutch multinational
corporations. Earlier this month Premier Oil was granted the
right to drill an exploration well in the Ragay Gulf in the
Bicol region. Premier has earmarked between $3.6 million and
$9.6 million to drill its first exploration well by
4.Why do we say that the case of Prof. Sison is a case of
Dutch imperialist intervention?
With the case of Prof. Sison, the Dutch authorities arrogantly
impose their own judicial system and jurisprudence over that
of the Philippines. They completely disregard Philippine Supreme
Court decisions and the fact that there are no cases in any
Philippine court against Prof. Sison for the deaths of Kintanar
and Tabara. The political persecution of Prof. Sison by the
Dutch government is an arrogant display of superiority over
the Philippine judicial system and jurisprudence.
This infringes on Philippine sovereignty and clearly meddles
with the internal affairs of the Philippines. The arrest,
continued detention and torture of Prof. Sison, the chief
political consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, has also
effectively terminated the peace negotiations between the
NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.
The Dutch government is reliving its colonial past when it
decided to meddle in Philippine affairs with the political
persecution of Prof. Sison. This the Dutch government does
to protect and advance their economic interests in the
This is reminiscent of the era of Dutch colonialism when the
Dutch East Indies Company expanded its hegemony in Asia,
especially Indonesia, and Latin America (Suriname and the
In its interventionist actions, the Dutch government is
violating the right of the Filipino people to self-determination.
It is hypocritical for the Dutch government to attack the
historical and inherent right of peoples, particularly the
Filipino people, to struggle against an illegitimate, corrupt,
brutal and tyrannical regime and to determine their own economic,
social, political and cultural development free from any foreign
control and interference.
We would beg to ask where the House of Orange (The Netherlands)
would be if the Dutch people had not asserted the same right to
rebel against Spanish colonial rule? Where would The Netherlands
be if the Dutch people did not forcefully remove by armed struggle
the yoke of Spanish rule?
The hypocrisy of the Dutch government towards human rights and
the rights of peoples betrays the current interventionist policies
of this imperialist state.
5.Why do we say that the unjust arrest of Prof. Sison and the
ransacking of the residences and offices of Filipino progressives
in the Netherlands is a clear case of repression?
Instead of dragging the Arroyo government into court for its war
crimes and crimes against humanity, the Dutch authorities chose
to persecute Prof. Sison, a patriot and exceptional freedom
fighter for cause of the Filipino working class and people.
By aligning itself with the murderous and criminal Arroyo regime
which masterminded the more than 800 extrajudicial killings in
the Philippines, the enforced disappearances of hundreds more
and the forced displacement of millions of Filipinos from their
communities, the Dutch government has clearly taken the side of
Particularly in the case of Prof. Sison and his colleagues,
(a)In true blue Gestapo fashion, the Dutch police arrested Prof.
Sison and conducted the raids. The police used a ruse to take
Prof. Sison into custody. Also during the raids, the raiding
team in some cases, did not show any search warrant and forced
their entry into the houses by breaking the doors even if people
were inside. In some of the houses that were raided, only minors
(b)Julie de Lima Sison, wife of Sison, said at around 9:30 am
last Aug. 28, the Dutch police in plainclothes did not even
ring or knock, but instead broke down their front door. She
was reportedly asked to sit in one corner of their house while
the police carted away their computers, documents, CDs, and
other files. The search lasted until early evening. She sustained
bruises because of manhandling.
(c)Simultaneous with Joma’s arrest and the search on his house,
the NDF International Information Office and several other houses
of Filipinos in Utrecht, were raided. The Dutch police confiscated
computers, laptops, papers, diskettes, CD Roms, and DVDs.
6.Why do we say that Prof. Sison is suffering torture?
(a)His lawyer, Michiel Pestman, said that he is being kept in
solitary confinement, denied visits from his wife, denied warm
clothing, denied access to his medicines and access to his own
doctor, denied access to newspapers and TV.
(b)Julie De Lima, wife of Professor Sison, tried to see him last
Aug. 30 but was denied. She said she also brought some prescription
medicines and warm clothes, but prison authorities said these were
(c)Professor Sison is being detained at the National Penitentiary
in Scheveningen, a facility which was used by the Nazis during
World War II to imprison and torture Dutch resistance fighters.
(d)Despite the weak evidence presented by the Dutch prosecutor in
the remand hearing in The Hague last Aug. 31, the Dutch judge
extended the detention of Professor Sison to 14 more days.
Even when the case against Prof. Sison is still in the stage of
being heard and investigated, the Dutch government is determined
to violate his basic rights and is treating him torturously. This
is a testimony to the hypocrisy of the Dutch government’s adherence
to human rights and the rule of law.
7.Why do we say that the most just demand is to immediately and
unconditionally release Prof. Jose Maria Sison?
(a)The case against him is based on trumped up charges and is
(b)There is a conspiracy by the Dutch and Philippine governments
to persecute Prof. Sison politically.
(c)The persecution of Sison through the use of judicial processes
exposes the rottenness and corruption of the Dutch justice and
(d)The unjust arrest shows Dutch repression. The Dutch authorities
are now torturing Prof. Sison.
(e)The conspiracy of persecution is a concrete manifestation of
Dutch imperialist intervention and repression and is an affront
to the right of the Filipino people to self-determination.