Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
By Michael Slate
KPFK 90.7 FM (Los Angeles)
5 June 2007
Tune in today at 5 pm to KPFK 90.7 FM as Michael Slate of “Beneath the Surface” interviews Professor Jose Maria Sison. Sison will discuss his persecution by the US and Philippine governments and most recently by the European Union.
When you think of a revolutionary, who do you envision? Some think of revolutionaries as people who fight for their principles in order to create a more just society. Jose Maria Sison is thought to be one of the most revolutionary thinkers and experts on the Philippines.
Sison is currently the Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS). He has remained one of the sharpest and most vocal critics of US foreign policy, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Sison was one of the longest-held political prisoners under Martial Law in the Philippines during the Marcos dictatorship.
Sison became a victim of the US War on Terror after getting listed as a terrorist by the US State Department shortly after the deployment of US troops to the Philippines after September 11th. The US has demonized Sison in a futile attempt to isolate one of the world’s leading anti-imperialists.
Since 1987, Sison has resided in the Netherlands. Under pressure by the US and Philippine governments, the Dutch government and most recently the Council of the European Union have also put Sison on the list of “terrorists.” Sison has been prevented from being admitted as a political refugee, despite the fact that he has been recognized as a political refugee by the highest Dutch administrative court in 1992 and by the office of the High Commission for Refugees.
Even though he is being subjected to punitive sanctions for the heinous crime of terrorism, Sison has not been informed of any specific act of terrorism of which he is suspected and without any proper criminal investigation, hearing or trial. In 1998 the Philippine government declared and certified that there was no criminal charge pending against Sison.
An international campaign to defend the rights of Sison is currently being carried around the world. We support this campaign and reject the notion that fighting for a country’s national sovereignty is terrorism. We see that Sison’s plight is similar to the cases of other Filipinos such as the Batasan 5 and Congressperson Crispin Beltran. All of the aforementioned parties call for genuine democracy and change but are being systematically attacked by the US and the Philippines in order to delegitimize their just aspirations for national self-determination.
We demand that Professor Sison be removed from the list of terrorists! We call for the full respect and protection of Sison as a refugee under international conventions!