COMMUNIST Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison dismissed statements that he would lose his asylum status following President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation that the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), were terror groups.
Sison was responding to analyst Ramon Casiple and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano’s pronouncements last week that the exiled communist leader his asylum status in The Netherlands was at risk if the Philippine government would be able to get a regional trial court to officially declare the CPP-NPA as terrorists.
“The two gentlemen, Cayetano and Casiple, are grossly ignorant of Dutch and international law and jurisprudence pertaining to my situation and the cases I have won in The Netherlands,” he said in a statement.
He then cited the Raad van State (Council of State), the highest administrative court in The Netherlands which, he said, ruled that he was a “political refugee.”
“[It] recognized me as a political refugee in 1992 under the Refugee Convention on the basis of the fact that I was persecuted and subjected to torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment by the Marcos fascist regime and its military organization which continues to exist,” Sison said.
Sison said the Raad van State also ruled in 1995 that he was protected by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, “which prohibits the Dutch government from deporting me to the Philippines or a third country and putting me at risk of persecution, torture and inhumane and degrading treatment.”
Amid the government’s recent declaration that the communist rebels were terrorists, Sison also recalled that his name was removed from the terror list of the European Union after the European Court of Justice ruled in 2009 that he has the “right to be priorly informed of the charge, the right to counsel and the right to judicial review.”
“The court further found no evidence of any complicity on my part in any act of terrorism,” Sison said.
He also cited that he won the case involving murder charges filed by the administration of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2007.
“For lack of sufficient evidence, I was released from prison by the Dutch court after 17 days of detention in 2007. The Dutch national prosecution service stopped further investigation in 2009,” Sison said.
“I enjoy the solidarity and support of progressive political parties, organizations, personages and academic friends in The Netherlands and other EU countries,” he added.