Manila arrest order against Prof. Jose Maria Sison, ILPS Chair Emeritus

ILPS Statement
10 September 2019

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) denounces in the strongest possible terms the US-Duterte regime for the issuance of a warrant of arrest on Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson Emeritus of the ILPS.

Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina issued the arrest warrant last August 22 for Sison and 37 others in connection with the so-called “Inopacan massacre” supposedly committed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) in 1985 in Leyte province and the discovery of mass graves in 2006. They are being falsely charged with 15 counts of murder. There is no basis for the allegations.

As a matter of fact, Sison was in maximum security detention by the reactionary state forces under Marcos in 1985. He was arrested in 1977 and was in no position nor authority over the CPP and NPA.

The so-called “massacre” and “mass graves” are actually fabricated by former national security chief Norberto Gonzales and retired General Hermogenes Esperon, now national security adviser. Esperon gathered the remains from various cemeteries and thus the issue was known as the case of “walking skeletons”.

The Philippine Supreme Court under Chief Justice Reynaldo Puno already dismissed the case in 2007. Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo was also charged with the same accusation and was granted bail.

Among the accused is Joe Luneta who is already dead and Leo Velasco and Prudencio Calubid who were both abducted by the military and forcibly disappeared. Former peace negotiator of the National Democratic Front Luis Jalondoni was also included in the case when in fact he was overseas since 1976.

Prof. Sison is a recognized political refugee under the Geneva Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. His passport was cancelled by Philippine authorities in 1986 and has since lived as a political refugee in the Netherlands and has tirelessly promoted anti-imperialist solidarity among workers and oppressed peoples and nations.

While there is no formal extradition treaty between the Netherlands and the Philippines and progressive lawyers can easily refute the baseless and false accusations against Sison, the international community must remain vigilant and express their solidarity with the Filipino people against the on-going escalation of fascist attacks in the Philippines.

The United States has been proven to be the Number One terrorist in the world and Duterte is fast being isolated in the global community for his extra-judicial killings and other grave crimes against the Filipino people.

With this latest political persecution against Sison and Philippine activists, the ILPS calls on all members and allies to demand the immediate dropping of all trumped-up charges, release all political prisoners, and support the Philippine struggle for national liberation and democracy.

[signed]
LEN COOPER
ILPS Chairperson

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