Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
14 July 2007
The Dutch embassy in Manila and the officials of the Arroyo regime have concertedly expressed their hostile reaction to the 11 July 2007 judgment of the European Court of First Instance (ECFI) in Case T-47/03, Jose Maria Sison versus the Council of the European Union. They denigrate this judgment by insinuating that it amounts to nothing and has no bearing and effect on the decision of the Council that has retained me in the terrorist blacklist and has continued to impose sanctions on me since 28 June 2007.
The facts of the case covered by the ECFI judgment are mainly within the period from the Council’s first decision to include me in the blacklist on 28 October 2002 to the final public hearing on my case before the ECFI on 30 May 2006. This period covered the 29 May 2006 decision of the Council. Nevertheless, the issues resolved by the judgment are also involved in the 28 June 2007 decision of the Council of the EU. Therefore, the judgment has a direct bearing and effect on the aforesaid decision of the Council.
I advise the public and the press to visit the website of the ECFI to read accurately its 55-page judgment on my case. The ECFI judgment annuls what it could cover as the last of the serialized decisions of the Council of the EU to keep me in the terrorist blacklist and to impose unwarranted sanctions on me. It rules that the Council has violated my rights to defense, has failed to comply with the obligation to state reasons for blacklisting me and has violated my right to effective judicial protection.
The ECFI also orders the Council of the EU to bear the costs of the litigation that I have incurred as plaintiff and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as intervener. It refrains from ordering the Council to compensate me for the termination of my social benefits (living allowance, health insurance, old age pension) and for moral and material damages but it paves the way for me to claim these in The Netherlands or in further litigation at the European level.
The judgment of the ECFI is applicable to the Council Decision dated 28 June 2007 because this decision has exactly the same infirmities and is also violative of my rights as in the Council Decision dated 29 May 2006. The Council of the EU continues to violate my rights to defense and to effective judicial protection. Prior to its 28 June 2007 decision, the Council merely sent to me a letter dated 23 April 2007 repeating the same lies it had previously presented to the ECFI. I replied to this letter with observations dated 22 May 2007. The Council did not call me to any hearing before making its 28 June 2007 decision. It has not afforded me any kind of fair procedure. It has also evaded accountability for violating my rights for more than more four years already.
To this day I have never been called to any criminal investigation concerning any specific crime of terrorism. In Europe or anywhere else in the world, I have never been accused of committing any kind of crime before police authorities or the courts. In the Philippines, I have never been charged with the crime of terrorism. It is only on 15 July 2007 that the law on anti-terrorism is supposed to take effect and be implemented in the Philippines. And this oppressive law is now about to be contested before the Philippine Supreme Court for being violative of the bill of rights.
The hostile reactions of the Dutch embassy and the officials of the Arroyo regime to the favorable judgment that I have obtained from the ECFI reflect the arrogance, malice and viciousness of state authorities under the influence of the Bush war of terror in the draconian world of imperialist plunder, fascism and aggression. Behind the scenes the US, Dutch and Philippine governments are already prodding the Council of the European Union to circumvent or negate the ECFI judgment by ignoring it and further protracting the legal battle, while continuing to persecute me.
I speak from experience. I know how the Dutch government has prevented me from getting legal admittance and residence in the Netherlands despite my having been recognized as a political refugee by its own highest administrative court, the Raad van State or Council of State. The Dutch government is on record as the hyperactive pusher within the Council of the EU for my blacklisting as a “terrorist” and has gone so far as to distort and misrepresent the favorable judgments of the Raad van State on my asylum case in 1992 and 1995.
My lawyers and I demand that the Council of the EU respect and comply with the letter and spirit of the ECFI judgment. We anticipate that the Council would ignore our demand and would appeal the judgment on a question of law within the allowed period of two months. Such appeal would start another round of protracted legal struggle, unless the Court rules to shorten the process.
While the legal struggle goes on, I continue to be persecuted by being blacklisted and stigmatized by the Council as a “terrorist” and by being subjected to the violation of my fundamental rights and freedoms, to “civil death” (deprivation of economic means) similar to that in the ancient regime in France and to public incitement of hatred and violence against my person. However, I have already gained advantage by having won my case on 11 July 2007.
I call on all the people, parties, organizations and movements that have supported me in my legal and political struggle to defend my fundamental rights and freedom and to remain firm, vigilant and militant against the forces of imperialist plunder, fascism and aggression. These evil forces never get tired of exploiting and oppressing the people. They are always driven by their greed and bloodthirst to suppress those who fight for the national liberation of the oppressed peoples, democracy and social justice for the working people, development and world peace. We must continue to struggle for a new and better world. ###