By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
19 January 2008
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service had the initiative yesterday (18 January) in announcing to the press and the public that it would continue up to the middle of this year to investigate my alleged involvement in the killing of the military agents Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
I am confident that the Dutch Public Prosecution Service would eventually decide to drop the false and politically-motivated criminal charge against me. I am also confident that if the prosecution would remain stubborn and unjust I would be able to seek and obtain justice from the courts.
My confidence springs first of all from the fact that I had nothing to do with the killing of Kintanar and Tabara. I have been out of the Philippines for more than twenty years, after coming out of nearly a decade of maximum security detention under the Marcos fascist dictatorship. I have neither the authority, interest nor inclination to cause the murder of anyone in the Philippines.
The malicious charge of inciting murder is a pure political fabrication of the Arroyo regime in a scheme to suppress my freedom of thought and expression and to pressure the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to capitulate. It is the fake president Gloria M. Arroyo and her top political and military henchmen who should be called to account and imprisoned for gross and systematic human rights violations.
The persecution that I am made to suffer now in The Netherlands is an extension of the persecution conducted by the Arroyo regime against its political opponents in the Philippines. However, I draw confidence from the fact that the Philippine Supreme Court on 2 July 2007 nullified the charge of rebellion as well as the specifications thereof against me and 50 other people, including some members of Congress, civil society leaders and anti-Arroyo military officers. The nullified specifications included the Kintanar and Tabara incidents.
The national security factotums of the Arroyo regime hoodwinked the Dutch authorities into using these incidents as subject of Dutch police investigation against me from 2006 onwards. Subsequently, the Filipino officials failed to inform their Dutch counterparts of the Supreme Court decision in 2007. At any rate, a close reading of the false testimonies by witnesses shepherded by Philippine officials to the US embassy, Dutch embassy and Clark Air Base easily unfolds the lies and the absolute lack of direct evidence against me for any crime.
My confidence is based on the fact that even within The Netherlands I have been able to obtain a significant measure of justice. The District Court of The Hague decided to release me from detention on 13 September 2007 due to lack of direct and sufficient evidence. Then upon the appeal of the prosecution, the Court of Appeal decided to uphold the decision of the District Court about the lack of prima facie evidence and ruled further that the charge against me has a political context within which the testimonies of witnesses against me are unreliable and it is doubtful whether my lawyer and I can fully exercise the right to cross-examine such witnesses.
Because of the aforesaid Dutch court decisions and the failure of the prosecution to put forward new convincing evidence against me, the examining judge who previously supervised and collaborated with the prosecution and police decided on 21 November 2007 to end the preliminary investigation.
As some legal experts have noted, the prosecution is some kind of a lameduck, already crippled by the decisions of two courts and the examining judge. The legal experts have also noted that if the prosecution had at all any new convincing evidence now it would have gone directly to the court and would not be dragging its feet up to the middle of 2008.
I have more to say. But I shall have ample opportunity to do so and more importantly to answer questions, when my lawyers Michiel Pestman and Jan Fermon, Luis Jalandoni and I shall hold the press conference with Dutch, Philippine and global media on Monday, 21 January 2008, starting at 14:00 NL time. The theme of the press conference is: “The Continuing Persecution of Prof. Jose Maria Sison: Implications and Consequences to the Peace Negotiations.” ###