COMMITEE DEFEND SLAMS ARROYO REGIME
FOR SLANDERING PROF. JOSE MARIA SISON
International Committee DEFEND
31 December 2008
The International DEFEND Committee, which takes the cudgels for
Filipinos subjected to persecution abroad, condemns the Arroyo regime
for circulating the false and malicious story that Prof. Jose Maria Sison
has been living in luxury in The Netherlands and that for this supposed
reason he has been ousted from the position of chairman of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
There are two lies involved in the aforesaid story. First, Prof. Sison is
depicted as living in luxury contrary to the fact that the Dutch government
has banned him from working and has deprived him of social benefits.
Second, he is falsely described as having been ousted from a position
which he has not actually held since 1977 because of his detention by
the Marcos regime and subsequent stay abroad.
The chief purveyor of the lies is Norberto Gonzales, who is the national
security adviser of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Together with General
Eduardo Ermita, he has been the most responsible for lobbying the US
government and the European governments since October 2001 to put
the CPP, New People's Army and Prof. Sison on the so-called terrorist list.
The blacklisting of Prof. Sison has resulted in punitive sanctions by the Dutch
government against Prof. Sison, including his being banned from work and
being deprived of social benefits like living allowance, housing, insurance
and old age pension. Prof. Sison is now living on the limited budget of his
wife and small loans from friends. And yet Gonzales and other officials of
the Arroyo regime are the ones circulating the canard that Prof. Sison is
living in luxury abroad.
Gonzales is also responsible for feeding the Dutch government with false
information and false witnesses against Prof. Sison on the false allegation
of ordering the killing of two security consultants of the Philippine military,
Rolly Kintanar and Arturo Tabara. He is therefore responsible for the arrest
and detention of Prof. Sison last year. Since then, he has been released
from prison for lack of incriminating evidence.
Gonzales is the chief engineer of the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group
(IALAG). This coordinates the military and police with prosecutors in
carrying out the so-called legal offensive against the political opponents
of the Arroyo regime. In this “legal offensive”, false charges are trumped
up against legal activists in order to arrest or detain them indefinitely or to
stigmatize them as “enemies of the state”, set them up as targets of death
squads and guarantee impunity to the abductors, torturers and murderers
In its June 2007 decision nullifying the charge of rebellion against Prof.
Sison and 50 others (including opposition members of Congress, social
activists and anti-Arroyo military officers), the Philippine Supreme Court
strongly criticized the prosecutors under IALAG for prostituting the noble
profession of prosecution. The UN Alston Report condemned the nefarious
work of the IALAG and recommended its abolition. No less than the
chairperson of the Philippine Human Rights Commission has denounced the
use of false charges as the rising main form of human rights violation in the
Regarding the fabrication of Gonzales that Prof. Sison has been ousted
from the position of chairman of the CPP Central Committee, his lawyer Jan
Fermon has well demonstrated before the European Court of First Instance
that the CPP Constitution does not allow him to hold such position. Both
Prof. Sison and the chairman of the NDFP negotiating panel have repeatedly
declared since the late 1980s that the central leadership of the CPP and
national command of the NPA are in the Philippines and not in The Netherlands.
Prof. Sison has said time and again that he is fully gratified with the honor of
having been the founding CPP chairman and that he is preoccupied enough
with work as the chairperson of the International League of Peoples' Struggle
and as chief political consultant of the NDFP negotiating panel. Definitely, he is
not in any position to either preside over meetings of the CPP Political Bureau
and Central Committee in the Philippines or command the NPA.
Like most Filipinos abroad, Prof. Sison is not living in luxury. In fact, he lives a
far more austere life than most Filipinos abroad who are allowed to work. In
addition to the sanctions and deprivations to which he has been subjected due
to the 'terrorist” listing and false charges against him, he has been subjected to
campaigns of vilification and assassination attempts by Philippine authorities.
Gonzales and his ilk should not insinuate that by being abroad Prof. Sison is living
in luxury and that by their being in the Philippines they live austere lives. They
are in the Philippines precisely to engage in the exploitation and oppression of
the Filipino people. They live lives of luxury at the expense of the people. Thus,
the people strongly desire to oust the Arroyo regime from power as well as to
replace the rotten ruling system with one that is independent, democratic, just
Ruth de Leon