For a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines,
Free Prof. Jose Maria Sison Now!
The Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines (AJLPP or Alliance Philippines) vehemently condemns the arrest and detention today, August 28, 2007, by the Dutch authorities of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant, Prof. Jose Maria Sison.
The arrest of Prof. Joma Sison impedes the course of a just and lasting peace in the Philippines. The incident derails the prospect of the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP. The Filipino people’s prosperity and future depends on the resolution of the protracted civil war raging in the Philippines and the determined principled pursuit and eventual conclusion of GRP-NDFP peace talks.
For nearly fifteen years of GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, Prof. Jose Ma. Sison has played an integral role as the NDFP chief political consultant. He was instrumental in developing and reaching agreements with the Manila government in over ten formal binding documents. The Hague Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER), and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) are milestones that Prof. Joma Sison has helped to facilitate. These agreements, which were approved under the previous administrations of former Philippine Presidents Ramos and Estrada, laid the foundation to set in motion the peace process and govern the conduct of the armed conflict between the GRP and NDFP.
Joma Sison’s arrest by Dutch police is a clear machination of the Philippine government’s desire to circumvent that process by violating the previously set-forth agreements. His arrest comes on the heels of the European Court of First Instance’s July 11, 2007 decision to order Sison’s name removed from the U.S. and European Union’s so-called “terrorist” listings and to defreeze his assets and funds. Sison’s arrest,like the arbitrary “terrorist” labeling he has had to endure for many years now, is an affront to due process and the rule of law as we know it. The GRP’s violations to these agreements are also evident with the increase of extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, and fascist attacks against NDFP peace consultants and Filipino progressives.
The AJLPP demands that the Dutch authorities release Prof. Jose Ma. Sison immediately and stop all forms of harassment against him. The AJLPP also demands that the Philippine government allow the peace process to proceed without the undue pressure of “terrorist” labeling, false accusations, and persecution of peace negotiators. Alliance Philippines also calls on all friends and allies to rally in defense of Joma Sison and other Filipino progressives.
Free Prof. Jose Ma. Sison Now!
Resume the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations!
August 28, 2007