Statement of Prof. Jose Maria Sison on his appeal for permanent residence

At the hearing of the case before the District Court of Zutphen, Administrative Law Sector

While I was still on the so-called terrorist blacklist of the European Union, the Dutch authorities made use of it to deny my applications for the residence permit and work permit, to deprive me of social benefits, to infringe on my basic rights under the pretext of restricting them, to demonize me and rouse public hatred against me as a “terrorist.”

Now that the 30 September 2009 judgment of the European Court of First Instance has become final and executory since 10 December 2009, the Dutch authorities declare that said judgment is valid only in taking me off the terrorist blacklist of the European Union and unfreezing my small bank account and is of no consequence or even relevance to the 1997 decision of the Law Unity Chamber (REK).

They consider this REK decision of 1997 as the instrument or license for continuing to apply sanctions and other actions which are calculated to force me to leave The Netherlands in complete contempt and violation of my status as a recognized political refugee under Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention and of the absolute protection of Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).

I wish to underscore that the 30 September 2009 judgment of the European Court is of great significance, relevance and consequence to my legal situation in The Netherlands. The European Court has ruled the following: 1. that I have never been investigated, prosecuted or convicted for any act of terrorism; and 2. that the Dutch court decisions on my asylum case in 1992, 1995 and 1997 and on the charge of murder in 2007 cannot be used to maintain my name in the EU terrorist blacklist.

I presume that the Dutch authorities have no more basis to continue labelling and slandering me as a terrorist or as a danger to Dutch public order or national security. They should not play loose with using the big phrase “general interest” in order to impute any criminal allegation or cast sheer innuendoes against me in order to prevent me from acquiring permanent residence in The Netherlands.

Let me remind the Dutch authorities of the earlier judgment of the European court on 11 July 2007 in my favor, upholding my right to be presumed innocent, the right to be informed of any charge, the right to legal counsel and the right to seek judicial remedy. They must present clear specific facts about criminal liability as basis for denying me permanent residence. The AIVD should not be allowed to make false allegations about bank accounts of lawful Dutch foundations associated with Filipinos.

I wish to take head-on the persistent attempt of Dutch authorities to use the REK decision of 1997 to render as nothing my being recognized as a political refugee under Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention and to deprive me of the absolute protection of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In the course of time, the criminal allegations against me that were considered insufficient by the Raad van State to make me fall under Article 1 F of the Refugee Convention but were reinterpreted by the REK to make its 1997 decision have been exposed as utterly false. There were two types of such false allegations: the ones supplied by the Philippine government and those by the Dutch intelligence agency BVD.

The false allegations supplied by the Philippine government were all press release accusations, except the subversion charge of 1988 and the multiple murder charge of 1991. The former charge was dismissed by the Pasig court in the Philippines in 1992 by virtue of the repeal of the oppressive Anti-Subversion Law. The latter charge was dismissed by the Manila city prosecutors in 1994 as based on sheer speculation.

When the REK made its decision in 1997 there was no pending formal criminal charge against me in the Philippines. In April 1998 the Philippine secretary of justice issued a certification that there was no pending criminal charge of any kind against me. And when the Arroyo regime filed a rebellion charge against me and 50 other people in 2006 the Philippine Supreme Court described the specifications as garbage and castigated the prosecution as having prostituted the noble profession of prosecution.

The latest instance when the Philippine government supplied false information to the Dutch government in order to cause my arrest and detention in The Netherlands in August 2007 involved false murder charges. The Philippine Supreme Court had earlier ruled that these charges were rubbish in June 2007.

Lest it be said that the Philippine Supreme Court has cleared the way for me to return to the Philippines, I must point out that the Philippine military, police, paramilitary and death squads still make false charges and commit gross and systematic violations of human rights, including abductions, torture and extrajudicial killings.

Now, let us take up the allegation from the Dutch intelligence agency in its 3 March 1993 dossier that there were indications and reference points that I had a role in the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army and that I had contacts and relations with representatives of international terrorist organizations.

After more than 12 years, it should be clear that the BVD did not have evidence of any value to merit the start of any investigation against me for any criminal act. The Dutch authorities failed to prove in the false murder charge of 2007 that I had ordered the New People’s Army to kill certain military agents in the Philippines. The ECFI judgment of 2009 ruled against the use of passing references to me in Dutch court decisions as playing a prominent role in the CPP.

There is nothing wrong with my playing a prominent role as chief political consultant in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and being in possession of documents regarding both sides of the said negotiations. The CPP itself is supposed to be a legal entity in the Philippines by virtue of the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law in 1992. Participation in the rebellion waged by the NPA is a matter distinct from being an officer or member of the CPP.

And yet the false and worthless allegations from the BVD seem to be the strongest to support the position of the Dutch authorities that it is a matter of upholding the integrity and credibility of the Dutch state to its allies in diplomatic relations that I should not be granted legal admission as refugee and the residence permit. Since the beginning in my asylum case, the Dutch authorities have been in violation of the Refugee Convention by allowing the US and Philippine governments to interfere in the asylum procedure and foul up my application for asylum.

The highflown ruling of the REK in my particular case that the Dutch state must have the freedom of policy to weigh the general interest against my individual interest and to deny to me admission as a refugee and the residence permit is based on the meanest of lies. If not lies, then the Dutch authorities would have been irresponsible and felonious for failing to investigate, prosecute and convict me for the alleged crime.

It is extremely anomalous that the Dutch authorities have undercut the Raad van State judgments of 1992 and 1995 in my favor and have made them appear as decisions convicting me of criminal offenses. The 1992 judgment ruled that it is against the principle of fair administration to use secret dossiers against me without being able to contest them and recognized me as a political refugee under Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention. It scolded the Dutch justice ministry for having failed to grant me asylum for four years since 1988.

The judgment of 1995 reiterated the principle of fair administration and good governance against the use of secret dossiers and finally ruled that the allegations against me did not suffice to make me fall under Article 1 F of the Refugee Convention and that I should be admitted as a refugee in The Netherlands if I could not get refuge elsewhere without running the risk of ill treatment in violation of Article 3 of the ECHR.

It is quite regrettable that in The Netherlands, where I have sought refuge, I am made to suffer the chain of false allegations that have been used to oppose and negate my applications for asylum, permanent residence and work permit, to put me on the terrorist list, deprive me of social benefits, violate my basic rights and cause my arrest, detention and humiliation on the false charge of murder.

The Dutch authorities have been relentlessly making intolerable the conditions of my stay in The Netherlands. They have subjected me to mental torture and to inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Article 3 of the ECHR. They have been trying to press and maneuver me into leaving The Netherlands and giving up the guarantees of Articles 3 and 8 of the ECHR. I have endured a great deal of injustice in The Netherlands, as in the Philippines.

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