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Prof. Jose Maria Sison Arrested
Tuesday August 28, 2007 22:49 by Sascha Funke - Anti-Imperialista
A lawyer of Jose Ma. Sison in The Netherlands and Dutch authorities have confirmed the arrest of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Tuesday.
"The communist leader was suspected of giving orders, from the Netherlands, to murder his former political associates in the Philippines, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara," the Dutch national prosecutor's office said in a statement quoted in an Agence France-Presse report.
Jose Maria Sison
Kintanar and Tabara led a faction of the CPP that broke away from the party in the early 1990s. They were subsequently assassinated by the New People's Army, the CPP's armed wing.
Lawyer Jose Jalandoni, son of National Democratic Front (NDF) chief peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni, said he was on his way to see his client but could not confirm if the arrest of Sison was related to the murder charges filed against the CPP founder in the Philippines.
However, Jalandoni said he did not know of any murder charges Sison is facing in The Netherlands, where the CPP founder has been living in exile since 1987.
In a separate phone interview, one of the lawyers helping work for the resumption of peace talks between the government and NDF said a judge and policemen went to Sison's house in the town of Utrecht to interrogate him.
The lawyer then said Sison was brought to The Hague, the Dutch capital.
The negotiations have been stalled for around three years because of the inclusion of the CPP, NPA and Sison in the terror lists of the United States, European Union and other countries.
Carl Ala, spokesman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) said Sison could be held for three to as long as 105 days on charges of "multiple murders and for calling for more murders."
Police also reportedly raided Sison's office in Utrecht and seized all computers, said Ala.
"They are really intensifying the attacks on progressive forces," said Ala in a text message.
Renato Reyes, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan, New Patriotic Alliance) secretary general said Sison's arrest showed that the government was not interested in pushing through with the stalled peace talks.
"This bodes ill for the peace process. The arrest was most probably undertaken with the knowledge and prodding of the Arroyo government who is out to sabotage all hopes for peace talks," said Reyes.
WHO IS JOSE MARIA SISON?
Jose Maria Sison led the re-founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines in the late 1960s. The CPP formed the New People's Army in 1969. It undertook people's war of the kind pioneered by Mao Zedong in China, in which the working class leads and the peasantry is the main force.
Comrade Sison led the struggle in the rural areas until he was captured by the dictatorial Marcos regime in 1976. He spent nine years in solitary confinement. He was only released when Marcos' regime was forced out by the masses in 1985. Though Marcos fell his generals remained. Comrade Sison and others were forced into exile in the Netherlands where they remain to this day.
Last year the U.S. government put Comrade Sison and the NPA on their "terrorist" list. The U.S. then prevailed on the Dutch government to do the same. They are no such thing: there are in truth the leaders of the oppressed masses in their struggle against a backward and rotting social order. It is the imperialists who are the real terrorists, as they prove every day.
The "terrorist" label cost Comrade Sison the economic benefits he had received as a political refugee. A worldwide movement in his support demands that he be taken off these hypocritical lists, instigated by the world's worst terrorist, U.S. imperialism.
The long people's war in the Philippines has had ups and downs, but in recent years has grown to the point where the reactionaries now consider it an acute challenge to their rule. (See the New York Times, January 4, 2004, "Fear of a Communist Rebellion Is Growing in the Philippines")