FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release10 May 2009
Prof. Jose Maria Sison celebrates court victoryand launches two books in Amsterdam
Issued by International DEFEND Committee
Filipino and Dutch friends and well-wishers joined Prof. Jose Maria Sison in celebrating his legal victory in the Dutch courts and launching two new books containing his writings at the Mirror Centre in Amsterdam on 9 May 2009.
The books, entitled Democracy, Socialism and Peace and Democracy and Socialism against Imperialist Globalization, are the first two volumes of a four-volume series to be released this year.
On 30 March 2009 the Dutch Public Prosecution Service dropped the charges filed against Sison for allegedly ordering the killing of two Filipino military agents. Sison’s defense was handled by Michiel Pestman, Victor Koppe and Suus Hopman of the Bohler, Franken, Koppe & Wijngaarden law firm and his Philippine lawyers led by former UN judge Romeo T. Capulong of the Public Interest Law Center.
Sison was arrested on 28 August 2007 while Dutch police simultaneously broke into the office of the NDFP Peace Negotiating Panel and six colleagues' houses and carted away computers and voluminous paper files to search for so-called evidence. After 19 months of traveling back and forth to the Philippines interviewing dubious witnesses provided by the Philippine intelligence services, and a fruitless search for evidence from the computer and paper files the Dutch police had seized, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service has been forced to drop the evidently false charge against Sison.
The dismissal of the false charge of Prof. Sison is in accordance with the decisions of the District Court of The Hague, the Appellate Court and the examining judge ruling that there is no sufficient evidence and that the case has a political context involving the political motivation of the charge, the unreliability of witnesses provided by the Philippine government and the hindrances to Prof. Sison in cross-examining said witnesses and getting his own witnesses.
Rev. Hans Visser of the Committee DEFEND congratulated Sison for his victory in the court case. Committee DEFEND was set up by friends and sympathizers of Sison to defend him against political persecution after he was put on the terrorist list in August 2002 by the US and Dutch governments. Citing the current global economic crisis which has brought untold sufferings to millions of people around the world, Visser said that instead of a “terrorist list”, what is needed is a list of greedy capitalists who have dragged the world into the abyss of crisis.
Sivanandam Sivasegaram, a professor from Colombo, Sri Lanka, made a review of the first book Democracy, Socialism and Peace. He said that Sison’s writings are unambiguous in their aim to serve the Philippine people’s struggle for liberation, democracy and socialism. And for this he has paid a heavy price, he said. “The price includes incarceration in the Philippines under Marcos, forced exile and various forms of persecution and maltreatment by a combination of forces including the reactionary Government of the Philippines, its US imperialist master, and reactionary allies in the Government and the state apparatus of the Netherlands, including being branded as a 'terrorist', denial of political asylum, deprivation of employment and social benefits, unlawful detention; and threats of and attempts at assassination.” But he added that despite all these, Sison has been defiant in the face of adversity and has held firmly to his commitment to advance the Filipino people’s struggle and international solidarity against imperialism and reaction.
Bert de Belder, a Belgian doctor who stayed in the Philippines for 8 years, sharing his medical knowledge and helping to train “barefoot doctors” who served the needs of peasants in the countryside, made a review of the second book Democracy and Socialism against Imperialist Globalization. He said that well before the explosion of the full-blown global crisis in 2008, Sison had made well-grounded scientific analyses of the causes and implications of the ever-worsening crisis of the world capitalist system pointing out that such crisis was also laying the ground for socialism.
Rey Casambre of the Philippine Peace Center spoke on behalf of Aklat ng Bayan, the publisher of Sison’s two books. He said that Sison had predicted the current global crisis as early as eleven years ago. He said that the publication of the two volumes was heartily welcomed by progressive people in the Philippines who always wanted a compilation of Sison’s writings readily accessible.
At the end of the program, Sison thanked the Filipino people and friends and sympathizers from all over the world who had supported him in his long-running struggle against political persecution. He said that his court victory in the Dutch courts would help him in his battle at the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg to remove him from the European terrorist list.
After the short program, he signed copies of his books and had pictures taken with the book buyers and well wishers. The entire event was covered by live video stream on the Internet at www.mogulus.com/book launch