Bush Threatening Key Leader in Philippine Liberation Struggle
Statement from National Executive Committee, Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Jose Maria Sison is in danger. A key leader in the struggle for the national liberation of the Philippines, he is the victim of a vicious campaign of lies and harassment - orchestrated by the U.S. government. The State Department says that Filipinos who want a decent life are “terrorists.” They want to portray freedom fighters as criminals.
The Filipino people are engaged in a life or death fight to end exploitation, oppression and foreign control. They have built a powerful national democratic struggle with those goals in mind. Jose Maria Sison has served as the architect of that movement. Scholar, poet and founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, he is currently the Chief Political Consultant to the National Democratic Front - a powerful alliance of trade unions, peasant organizations, women’s and student groups, which includes the insurgent New People’s Army and the Communist Party.
The government of the Philippines engages in systematic repression, which includes jail, torture and murder by government sponsored death-squads. More than a few progressive Filipinos have been forced to seek refuge in Europe. Jose Sison spent eight years in jail. The government of the Philippines would rejoice in his death. So, he is an exile living in the Netherlands.
Over the past few months, the Bush Administration has pushed the government of the Netherlands to move against Sison. His personal bank account has been frozen. They are taking away his housing. There is a possibility of extradition to U.S. jail.
Internationally, the Bush administration is trying to portray well-established national liberation movements and revolutionary organizations as criminals and terrorists. So they slander organizations like the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples Army - putting them on a list of "terrorist organizations."
It is a well-known fact that the insurgent New Peoples Army adheres to the Geneva protocols, i.e. the international law governing warfare. It’s a disciplined army that serves the people. Members of the New Peoples Army do everything, from rural education to helping poor peasants with their crops. They do not mistreat prisoners of war. They want to break the power of the landlords, compradors and corrupt politicians. They want an end to foreign domination. In the eyes of Washington, this is their real crime
U.S.-based multinational corporations want to exploit the land, labor and natural resources of the Filipino people. The U.S. government wants to keep the Philippines as a neo-colony. The Pentagon wants to re-establish its big military bases to threaten the peoples and countries of Asia. It is a longstanding U.S. policy to send military aid and advisors to the Philippines. Now under the cover of the “war on terrorism,” troops have returned.
It is vital that progressive people in this country speak out against the attacks on Jose Maria Sison. We urge you to write to the embassy of the Netherlands and tell them to respect the democratic rights of Jose Sison!
The address for the Dutch Ambassador to the U.S. is:
Ambassador Boudewijn van Enennaam
200 Linnean Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 244-5300
Fax: (202) 362-3430
Consulate Fax: (202) 364-2410
It is vital to write or fax today.
Hands off Jose Sison!
U.S. out of the Philippines!
Freedom Road Socialist Organization
P.O. Box 582564
Minneapolis MN 55440