Tuesday, November 27, 2007

2 Missing UP Students Tortured, Raped inside Military Camp

Original article: http://www.bulatlat.com/2007/11/2-missing-students-tortured-raped-inside-military-camp

By Dabet Castañeda
VOL. VII, No. 42, November 25- December 1, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One year and five months after their abduction, a witness testified that he had actually seen and talked to Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, the two scholars of the University of the Philippines (UP) who were abducted allegedly by soldiers on June 26, 2006 while doing research in a farming community in Barangay (village) San Miguel, Hagonoy, Bulacan. Farmer Manuel Merino was abducted together with the two.

The witness, Raymund Manalo, also confirmed what had been feared all along - that the UP students were raped by their abductors.

First meeting

Manalo, who was abducted together with his brother, Reynaldo, in their home in Barangay Buhol na Mangga, San Ildefonso, Bulacan, on Feb. 14, 2006, said he first met Cadapan sometime in November 2006 at the barracks of Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan. Camp Tecson hosts the First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR).

It was an uncanny meeting, Manalo said in his signed affidavit submitted at the Court of Appeals (CA) on Nov. 12. "Sa loob ng barracks ko nakilala si Sherlyn, isang estudyante ng UP," (I met Sherlyn, a UP student, inside the barracks.) Manalo said as she described Sherlyn as a "babaeng nakakadena (chained woman)."

At first, Manalo said he was told not to converse with the chained woman. But on the third or fourth day, Manalo said he approached Sherlyn and gave her food.

Sherlyn, meanwhile, gave Manalo some information about herself. "Sinabi nya sa akin na …matindi ang tortyur na dinaranas niya. Umiiyak sya," (She told me she experienced heavy torture. She was crying.) Manalo said in his testimony.

Manalo also said Sherlyn was ordered to do the laundry during the day. But more than this, what was bothersome was Sherlyn's confession that she had been molested by a certain Mickey, Donald and Billy. "Sabi ni Sherlyn sa akin na siya'y ginahasa," ((Sherlyn told me she was raped.) Manalo said in his testimony.

Manalo described Mickey as "pandak na mataba, maputi," (short, fat, and fair-skinned) while Billy is "maitim, bungi, pinakamataba sa kanila, pandak." (dark, with missing teeth, the fattest, and short) Donald is Master Sgt. Donald Caigas, the same suspect in the killing of human rights worker Eden Marcellana and peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy in April 2003.

Manalo said the words "24th IB" was tattooed on the shoulders of Caigas.

Nine days after meeting Sherlyn, Manalo said, he also met Karen and Manuel inside the same military camp.

During the day, Manalo said he, Reynaldo and Manuel were told to do errands while the two women were made to do the laundry.

An unexpected visit

On Nov. 22, 2006, the Manalo brothers, Manuel, Sherlyn and Karen were transferred to 24th Infantry Battalion (IB) camp in Limay, Bataan. According to Raymund's testimony, they stayed there until May 8 of this year.

Going to Bataan, Karen was separated from the four and was forced to ride a black car with Caigas. The rest of the captives rode a stainless jeep.

Raymund said it was in Bataan where he witnessed the torture of Sherlyn and Karen.

The torture happened after Sherlyn told their soldier-captors that she kept a gun at her mother-in-law's place in Calumpit, Bulacan. She was taken to the place but the soldiers found no firearm there. Sherlyn also tried to leave a letter for her mother-in-law but her military escorts saw the letter and confiscated it.

At the hearing for the writ of amparo Nov. 21 at the Court of Appeals (CA), Sherlyn's mother-in-law, Adoracion Paulino, testified that Sherlyn indeed visited her in the evening of April 11. Paulino said she hugged and kissed Sherlyn but the latter just looked at her and took some clothes. Paulino said her daughter-in-law had five escorts at that time. The visit was swift, Paulino told the court.

After the visit, Paulino said the threats to her life had become endless. As she broke down during her testimony, she said soldiers and police had been visiting her at home, asking if it was true that Sherlyn and five of her escorts paid a visit. "Dinenay ko dahil natakot ako para kay Sherlyn, para sa anak ko at para sa sarili ko." (I denied it because I fear for Sherlyn, my son, and myself.)

Paulino said she tried to keep the brief encounter with Sherlyn to herself. It was only in May when she decided to tell Sherlyn's mother, Linda, about the visit.


When Sherlyn was taken back to the camp in Bataan, Raymund said, he saw the soldiers torture Sherlyn, "Itinali sya sa bangko, itinaas ang kanyang mga paa, binuhusan siya ng tubig sa ilong, kinuryente sya." (She was tied to a bench, her feet were lifted, water was poured to her nose, and she was electrocuted.)

"Sumisigaw sya.Matagal syang pinahirapan," (She shouted. She was tortured for a long time.) Raymund added.

When Sherlyn told the soldiers that Karen helped her write the letter for her mother-in-law, Raymund said, he saw the soldiers take Karen outside. However, Raymund said, he did not see what the soldiers had done to Karen. "Narinig ko lang ang mga sigaw nya," (I just heard her cries.) Raymund said.

The following day, Raymund said, he heard the soldiers hurling invectives at the two UP students. "Inuyam sila sa ginawang pananakit, ipinaalala sa kanila ang ginawang paghipo sa kanilang ari at pagpasok ng kahoy sa kanilang ari," (They were taunted regarding the pain inflicted on them; they were reminded that their private parts were touched and a wooden stick was inserted inside their sex organ.) Raymund said in his testimony.

On the other hand, Raymund said, he and Manuel where forced to join military operations in Bataan. Raymund said they witnessed how the soldiers killed two relatives of suspected New People's Army (NPA) guerillas.

Last sighting

From Limay, Bataan, Raymund said, the five of them (Manalo brothers, Sherlyn, Karen and Manuel) were transferred to a safehouse off the shore of Zambales. They stayed in the said place from May 8 or 9 (Raymund was not sure of the exact date) until June.

The five captives were taken back to Limay, Bataan sometime in June. After two or three weeks, Raymund said, he, Reynaldo and Manuel were taken to a forest by a certain "Lat." They were made to sleep in the forest until Caigas ordered Lat to bring them back to the camp.

At night time, the three male captives were again taken to the forest, this time by a certain "Robin." They were taken back to the camp the next morning. Raymund said it was then that he noticed that Sherlyn and Karen were gone. "Hindi ko na sila nakita," (I never saw them again.) Raymund said.

The three male captives were then chained inside the cell where Sherlyn and Karen were kept before. They stayed there for three days, Raymund added.


On the third day, Raymund said "Lat" took Manuel outside the cell. "Kakausapin daw sya ni Gen. Palparan," ( They said Gen. Palaparan would talk with him.) Raymund said, referring to retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, then the commanding officer of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (ID PA) based in Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija.

"Nakapiring si Manuel, wala siyang suot pang-itaas, pinosasan," (Manuel was blindfolded, he had no shirt and was handcuffed.) Raymund said in his testimony.

"Ði nagtagal, narinig ko ang hiyaw o ungol ni Manuel. Sumilip ako sa isang haligi ng kamalig at nakita kong sinisilaban si Manuel," (After a while, I heard the shouts and moans of Manuel. I peeked and saw Manuel being burned.) Raymund said.

That was the last time Raymund would see Manuel alive. "Sabi ni Donald (Caigas) huwag na raw naming hanapin ang dalawang babae at si Manuel dahil magkakasama na sila." (Donald told us not to look for the two women and Manuel anymore because they are already together.)

The Manalo brothers were then transferred to Pangasinan where they were allowed to tend a small farm owned by Caigas. Around 1 a.m. of Aug. 14, the brothers were able to escape from their captors when the soldiers became drunk.
A writ of amparo has also been filed for the Manalo brothers who are still kept in a sanctuary as threats hound them and their family to this day.

Raymund is scheduled to testify for Sherlyn, Karen and Manuel on Dec. 18. Bulatlat

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Progressive Filipino Women's Alliance Calls for Urgent Action to Condemn the Batasan Bombing

November 14, 2007

Media Contact:
Valerie Francisco, Secretary General,
Email: fire.nyc@gmail. com
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), NY

Marisa Mariano, Chair, babae, San Francisco
Email: info@babaesf. org

Donna Denina, Vice Chair, Pinay sa Seattle
Email: pinayinfo@gmail. com

Pinay sa Seattle, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) NY and babae SF denounce the bombing of the south wing of Batasan Pambansa (House of Representatives) in Quezon City, Philippines and condemn the systematic acts of state terror perpetrated by the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Administration. The U.S. based progressive Filipino women's alliance calls for an immediate independent probe to bring justice to the innocent lives lost during this heinous crime.

The bombing occurred last Tuesday night at about 8:30pm which claimed the lives Marcial Talbo, driver of GABRIELA Partylist Representative Luz Ilagan, Basilan Representative Wahab Akbar and congressional staff member Maan Gale Bustalino. There were 11 others who sustained injuries, including Representative Ilagan and Mike Lim, the driver of another GABRIELA Women's Partylist Representative, Liza Maza.

The explosion at the House of Representatives happened as the day's legislative session was ending. Rep. Luz Ilagan and other progressive partylist members filed an impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macagapagal Arroyo on charges of gross human rights violations, graft and corruption, bribery and electoral fraud. Rep. Luz Ilagan, a human rights lawyer who is known to be a staunch advocate for women's rights in the Philippines, has been a reliable supporter of migrant women's issues in the US, the human trafficking of the Sentosa 27 nurses and the deceased NYC domestic worker, Fely Garcia.

"We are deeply concerned that Luz Ilagan was one of the main targets of the bombing," states Valerie Francisco, Secretary General of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment in New York City. Francisco continues, "In light of her endorsement of the impeachment charges filed against President Arroyo, this attack could be another tactic to deter the impeachment proceedings and quell the people's voice."

Progressive groups are concerned that the recent bombing of the House of Representatives as well as the bombing at Glorietta Mall earlier this year are reminiscent of pre-Martial Law conditions in the Philippines and will be used as an excuse to further curtail civil liberties. Although government officials are quick to call this an act of terror, the U.S. national women's alliance questions the timing of this attack and hold the Philippine government accountable for a thorough investigation, including the possibility of state terrorism.

"The recent Batasan bombing is the latest chapter in Malacanang's larger scheme to justify full-implementation of Martial Law. US-based Filipinos played a big role in condemning Marcos during the dictatorship. Filipino-Americans of today will show the same conviction against GMA's administration," states Bernadette Ellorin, Bayan USA Secretary General.

A U.N. Special Rapporteur, Philip Alston issued a report to the United Nations in August on the state of human rights violations in the Philippines under the current administration claimed that the military was in a "state of denial" about its role in the more then 900 political killings since GMA came into power in 2001. As indicated in the recent bombing, even those of the congressional body are not immune to these human rights violations.

There is grave concern over the amount of U.S. military aid provided to the Philippines in the U.S. Senate bill, which is three times the $11.1 million originally requested by the State Department for FY 2008. Increasing the amount of aid by $19million over the State Department's request has already sent a message to the Philippine Government that the U.S. supports the Philippine's counter insurgency strategy cited in the U.N. Rapporteur's report as the cause of so many human rights abuses.

A national day of action via candle light vigil will take place on Thursday, November 15th to honor and remember the victims of the Batasan Bombing and to pay tribute to the countless lives that have fallen victim to state terror in the Philippines. The U.S. based Filipino women's alliance stands in solidarity with GABRIELA in the Philippines and the progressive people's movement to call for an independent probe of the Batasan Blast and to seek justice for Marcial Tuadlo, a victim to the explosion.

Los Angeles:
Exact time to be announced
In front of Philippine Consulate
3600 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

New York:
In front of Philippine Consulate
556 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10036

Contact Person: Valerie Francisco (925) 726-5768

San Francisco:
In front of the Philippine Consulate
447 Sutter St. (cross street is Powell)
San Francisco, CA 94108

Westlake Plaza
4th & Pine Dowtown Seattle
Seattle, WA 98101


FiRE, babae and Pinay sa Seattle represent the women's sector of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S.representing groups of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. As the only international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines) , BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. who are committed to undoing over 500 years of colonial rule and to bringing freedom and justice to the people of the Philippines.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ay, Babae!

Grassroots Organization Empowers Filipinas Across the Bay
by Tuongvi Tran, staff writer
November 6, 2007 12:19 PM


A young Filipino mother and her children come home one Fall evening after having dinner with friends. Despite being harassed by her ex-boyfriend, she managed to live a “normal” life. After walking into her Richmond district home, she noticed her ex-boyfriend was already inside waiting for her.

On the night of Oct. 22, 2000, police entered the Richmond district home and entered a gruesome scene – a bloody young woman slouched over a kitchen chair. Claire Joyce Tempongko had been stabbed to death in front of her children by ex-boyfriend Tari Ramirez.

Prior to her death, Tempongko had called 911 six times over the past 18 months, according to San Francisco’s Department on the Status of Women. In addition she had also filed police reports, stating his abusive behavior, and filed for a restraining order.

Tempongko’s death sparked outrage in the Filipino community, as many wondered why nothing had been done to protect Tempongko and her children prior to the homicide.

Babae, meaning “woman” in Tagalog, is a grassroots organization created in 2004 by eight women who wanted to prevent future domestic violence-related homicides from occurring. Also, it serves as a resource for a topic that is prevalent, but rarely discussed, in the Filipino community.

“In general, Filipino men always feel dominant,” says SF State student Cherryl Llamas, who believes it’s very typical in the Filipino culture to have some degree of violence. She also believes Filipinas continue to be in domestically abusive relationships due to their upbringing. “Usually, they don’t have a father figure and they see their parents’ relationship and they think that’s the way their boyfriend should act – the trend basically gets misconcepted generally from their family values and ethics.”

According to a fact sheet released by the California State Domestic Violence Interagency Collaborative, 5.8% of California women experience domestic violence a year – 4.8% of which are Asian females. Also, of the 54 undocumented Filipino women residing in the Bay Area, 20% have reported experiencing some form of domestic violence, according to Babae’s website.

Three years later on the night of Oct. 29, seventeen men and women gather at the Filipino Community Center – it’s Babae’s open house. While Villasper and her colleague Marisa Mariano tells the attendees about the organization’s work and reasons why they should volunteer, the topic of conversation naturally gravitates towards the catalyst in why Babae was formed – Claire Joyce Tempongko.

“She did everything right,” says Babae’s organization development coordinator Elaine Villasper in the bottom floor of the Filipino Community Center in the Excelsior district. “She filed for a restraining order, called the police and her partner went through batterer classes. There just weren’t enough services to address her needs.”

Babae uses educational workshops and community forums and acts as a liaison between battered women and the resources they need to be connected with. Unlike many of the city services available, Babae has Tagalog-speaking volunteers that are able to communicate easier with victims.

Also according to the fact sheet, “language, fear about immigration status, and other barriers may limit an immigrant woman’s resources to shelter or financial assistance should she attempt to flee her abuser.”

“There are major loopholes in the system,” says 24-year-old Villasper, who recently graduated from SF State in the spring. “It specifically targets women of color – immigrants – who won’t have, or don’t know of, the resources available to them.”

In addition to not knowing the language or having citizenship, a lot of Filipino women are not telling others about their abusive relationship because they do not want to be looked down at by their peers.

“Nakaka hiya – it means ‘it’s embarrassing,’” explains Villasper. “Some women think it’s shameful to burden other people with their problems – it’s a closed door policy.”

While Babae’s Tagalog-speaking volunteers have opened many lines of communication between the organization and the community, other volunteers’ unique skills have been helpful. Villasper is a certified domestic violence counselor.

And tonight’s open house also brings out 25-year-old Madeline Stacy, who is a quarter Filipina and eager to join Babae and help victims.

“I’ve never been part of a community like this – I’ve always looked white and had those privileges,” says Stacy, whose grandma was born in the Philippines. “I’m trained in crisis intervention for domestic violence and sexual assaults. I want to help.”

As the open house ends and people slowly trickle out of the Filipino Community Center, Villasper and a few other attendees stay behind to clean up the refreshments table and put away tables and chairs. While seventeen people may sound like a no-show event, for the organization that was formed on eight women, it’s an ever-expanding collective.

Isang Bagsak.

Lisette Poole | staff photographer
At the BABAE Open House on Oct. 29, 2007, attendees make gingerbread men cutouts, and write their goals and interests on them to later share with the group. Tina Shauf, (left) 26, explains her gingerbread man to the group and everyone took turns presenting their art project to the group as a way to get to know each other.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

babae Open House - October 29

Looking for a space to organize around Pinay issues?
Interested in doing women's work? Curious to know about babae as an organization? Please join us!

babae Open House

Monday, October 29, 2007
Filipino Community Center
35 San Juan Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112

Please RSVP at info@babaesf.org so that we may make the appropriate accommodations.
Contact: Joanna Robledo-Maderazo, P: (415) 637-4129 E: jomadzo@gmail.com

BAYAN-USA Bay Area Remembers the Declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines

San Francisco – Over 200 Filipinos and allies packed the Filipino Community Center last Friday, October 7th to remember the 35th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines. The event was sponsored by BAYAN-USA Bay Area organizations: Anakbayan – East Bay, babae – San Francisco, and League of Filipino Students.

The night kicked-off with an audio recording of President Ferdinand Marcos declaring Martial Law while various images of a well-dressed Marcos and his family rubbing elbows with international celebrities and world leaders flashed across the screen; interspersed amongst these images were those of massive poverty and popular protests in the Philippines during that time. Bindlestiff's Movement Troupe along with local Bay Area organizations ALAY, babae, and Anakbayan performed a shadow puppet theater play based on an adaptation of Augie Rivera's book entitled Si Jhun-Jhun, Noong Bago Ideklara Ang Batas Militar, the story of the declaration of Martial Law as witnessed by a young Filipino boy. Various speakers also shared their own stories from Martial Law. Elaine Villasper shared a tragic family story about a relative who was killed by the Philippine military for being suspected as a subversive. Former anti-Marcos activist, Emil de Guzman also shared his experiences as a Filipino organizing against the Marcos regime in San Francisco during the 1970s and 1980s. Revered Michael Yoshii of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda addressed the crowd about his recent fact-finding mission in the Philippines with the United Methodist Church and how the current spate of political killings in the Philippines is all too similar to the level of violence and political repression of the Martial Law period.

The finale of the evening featured a special performance by Pendong Aban Jr. of Philippine folk supergroup, Asin. The crowd erupted in applause as he started off his set with the chorus of "Balita," a song recently sampled by the hip-hop group, Black Eyed Peas. He then continued on with other familiar songs about peace and justice. Aban's performance was followed by a candlelight ceremony to pay tribute to the martyrs who gave up their lives struggling against the Marcos dictatorship as well as under the current Arroyo regime.

For many in the audience, Martial Law symbolized the repression and corruption of the Marcos regime and the reason why many of their families immigrated to the United States. Although the time of Martial Law has passed, the stories of the current repression of the Arroyo regime were a major theme of the night. A short documentary was shown about the political killings—numbering almost 900—that have taken place in the Philippines since 2001. The current attack on Filipino progressives worldwide is also reminiscent of the Martial Law days. Certain BAYAN-USA members are on a blacklist of 504 people from 50 countries, including overseas Filipinos that were barred from entering the Philippines last July, when the country hosted the ASEAN ministerial meetings. The unlawful arrest and detention of Jose Maria Sison in the Netherlands is more evidence that the current Arroyo regime is bent on mirroring Marcos' record of repression and violation of human rights.

To view photos from this event, visit:
Memoirs of Martial Law

Thursday, September 27, 2007

October 5: Memoirs of Martial Law



Join us for a night of theater and performances as we remember the 35th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Doors open at 6:30pm
Filipino Community Center
35 San Juan Ave.
(between Mission St. and Alemany St.)
San Francisco, CA

This is a FREE event!

The evening will feature a special performance by Pendong Aban Jr. of Asin, Bindlestiff's Movement Troupe will also perform along with ALAY, babae, and Anakbayan; together will present an adaptation of Augie Rivera's book entitled: Si Jhun-Jhun, Noong Bago Ideklara Ang Batas Militar

Sponsored by: BAYAN-USA, babae - San Francisco, Anakbayan - East Bay, League of Filipino Students - San Francisco State University

For more information, please call (415) 637-4129 or email nc@bayanusa.org

Monday, September 24, 2007

September 21, 2007

Professor Jose Maria Sison Addresses San Francisco Crowd on the 35th Anniversary of the Declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines

The 68-year old Political Prisoner under the Marcos Dictatorship Receives Accolades and Moral Support from the San Francisco Audience

San Francisco--The sense of anticipation steadily grew among over 75 participants at a forum hosted by BAYAN USA and International League of People's Struggle (ILPS) at the Manilatown Center in downtown San Francisco. They were about to have a question and answer session via internet audio chat from the Netherlands with the Philippine revolutionary leader Jose Maria Sison. Sison was arrested several weeks ago by Dutch authorities on trumped-up charges of murdering two-ex guerrilla fighters in the Philippines. Sison was released on September 13 after a Dutch court found no sufficient evidence linking him to the murders.

The program titled Justice for JOMA, featured a new 20 minute film by Collision Course Video Productions. This video presented Sison's role in the resurgence of the Philippine national democratic movement in the late 60's, his nine years of imprisonment during the Marcos regime, the threats of his life that forced him into political exile in the Netherlands twenty years ago, and his view of the current crisis of the imperialist system.

Doug Norberg of ILPS spoke about Sison's work as chairperson of ILPS. Dave Pugh of ILPS suggested that a trigger for the arrest and detention of Sison may have been the stinging fact finding reports by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston. The reports focused on the killings and forced disappearances of over 1,000 political activists in the Philippines that pointed to the involvement of the Philippine military.

Members of the local Filipino community read poems from Sison's collection of poetry "Prison and Beyond", and shared songs in Tagalog and English. San Francisco indie rock musician Sergio Robledo-Maderazo of From Monuments to Masses, spoke of Professor Sison's contributions as a cultural worker and artist.

Sison's voice appeared via live internet chat and answered a half dozen questions including whether he has ever grown tired of the attempts by the Philippine government to persecute him. Sison answered simply, "I thrive on struggle. The more they try to silence me, the more resolve I have to fight for peace and genuine democracy in our homeland."

In response to a question about the role of culture in the people's struggle, Sison said that visual art and music is often superior to political speeches: "Can you think of people memorizing a political speech the way they can learn dozens of revolutionary songs by heart?"

Sison called on people to "remain vigilant and militant" in defense of his political rights. Even after 17 days of solitary confinement and 7 days of intensive interrogation, Sison stated that the Dutch, Philippine and U.S. governments are still trying to silence him with the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines offering to help the Dutch government prosecute him, as well as the deployment of six Dutch intelligence agents sent to the Philippines to fabricate more "evidence" against him.

The charges against Sison have not yet been dropped. The Dutch prosecutor's office will appeal the decision to release him from detention at an upcoming hearing on September 26th. Sison faces no criminal charges of any kind in the Philippines. In fact, the same trumped up charges against Sison were dropped by the Philippine Supreme Court earlier this year.

The forum was only one of many activities organized in over 20 countries since Sison's arrest in late August 2007 to call on the Dutch government to stop persecuting Filipino progressives, to immediately drop the false charges against Sison, and to cease harassment of political exiles in the Netherlands.

For more info:

To view photos from this event, visit: ..>..>
Justice For JoMa Forum

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Forum On Unjust Arrest of Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Hello everyone!

Many of you may have heard about the arrest of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, but have many questions answered regarding this case. Please join us at this FREE forum to learn more about the unjust arrest and detention of Prof. Jose Maria Sison.


On the morning of August 28, Philippine revolutionary leader Jose Maria Sison was arrested in the Netherlands on trumped-up charges. Sison has been the leading figure of the Philippine national democratic movement for more than 40 years. He was the most prominent political prisoner under the U.S.-supported Marcos dictatorship. Due to serious threats on his life, Sison and his family were forced into exile in the Netherlands twenty years ago. By targetting Sison, the Philippines, Dutch, and U.S. governments are trying to deflect attention from the assassination of over 900 Filipino political activists by military death squads over the past six years.

Sison is currently the Chief Political Consultant of the underground National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and Chairperson of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS), an anti-imperialist alliance of 325 mass organizations from over 40 countries.

Come and learn about Jose Maria Sison and the implications of his arrest for the worldwide struggle against imperialism. The program will feature a video with recent and archival footage of this courageous fighter for the people.

Friday, September 21, 2007
International Hotel Manilatown Center
848 Kearny Street at Jackson
San Francisco, CA

Co-Sponsored by:
BAYAN USA: AnakBayan - East Bay, babae - San Francisco, League of Filipino Students - SFSU, Center for Political Education, Collision Course Video, Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), ILPS, ILPS Bay Area Organizing Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and SOUL (School of Unity and Liberation)

For more info visit:

Monday, September 10, 2007

On the Unjust Arrest, Continuing Detention and Torture
of Prof. Jose Maria Sison
A Case of Dutch Imperialist Intervention and Repression and an Affront to the Right of the Filipino People to Self-Determination

International League of Peoples' Struggle - Hong Kong
1 September 2007
On the morning of August 28, Filipino political refugee Prof. Jose Maria Sison was unjustly arrested by the Dutch Police on trumped-up charges. Simultaneously, raids and ransackings were conducted on several houses of Filipinos in the Netherlands including the NDF International Information Office.
Immediately, freedom and peace-loving peoples of the world condemned in the harshest manner this grave violation of the rights of Prof. Sison and other Filipino progressives in the Netherlands.
Currently, Prof. Sison is languishing in solitary confinement and is suffering torture by the Dutch government.
This incident is a clear manifestation of Dutch imperialist intervention and repression as well as an affront to the right of the Filipino people to self-determination.
  1. Why do we say that the charges are trumped up?
The Dutch police and prosecutors have fabricated charges against Prof. Sison of ordering the alleged murder of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara from the Netherlands. On the bases of these false charges, Prof. Sison was arrested in an entrapment operation and the raids of the offices and residences of other Filipinos in the Netherlands carried out.
However, the so-called charges are obviously trumped up:
(a) The charges are already included in a case that has been nullified and dismissed with finality by the Philippine Supreme Court in its decision last July 2, 2007. Together with 50 others, Prof. Sison has been exonerated and the case has been shown to be completely without basis and politically motivated.
(b) The specific charges have currently no corresponding cases in any Philippine court.
(c) Assuming that such charges are filed in Philippine courts, these would have to fall under the political offense of rebellion and not as a criminal offense which the Dutch authorities claim these to be.
Under what right and authority therefore does the Dutch government seek to intervene in the internal affairs of the Filipino people by prosecuting Prof. Jose Maria Sison? How can they utterly disregard Philippine Supreme Court decisions and choose to fabricate an offense where there is no corresponding criminal case in Philippine courts?
  1. Why do we say that the charges are politically-motivated?
The US-Arroyo regime, through its National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Philippine National Police Deputy Director General Avelino Razon, and Secretary of the Department of Justice Raul Gonzales, has admitted that they have been helping the Dutch police since January this year in building the case against Prof. Sison. They have even admitted providing airfare and travel allowances to the accusers.
(a) This contradicts and belies the statement of the spokesperson of the Dutch Prosecutors' Office, Wim de Bruin, that the filing of the case is exclusively a Dutch initiative.
(b) This clearly shows the conspiracy between the Dutch and Philippine governments to politically persecute Prof. Sison.
(c) The US government, the main author in the terrorist labeling of Prof. Sison and the revolutionary movement and number one supporter of the criminal and murderous Arroyo government, immediately volunteered to assist in the investigation and prosecution of Prof. Sison.
(d) This exposes their political agenda of attempting to pressure the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to capitulate to the Arroyo government across the negotiating table.
  1. What are the economic interests of The Netherlands that prompted it to side with the US-Arroyo regime â€" the promoter of repression and state terrorism in the Philippines?
In exchange for allowing the Dutch government and multinational corporations the unhampered plunder of Philippine national resources, the US-Arroyo regime has managed to secure a deal with the Dutch authorities to persecute Prof. Sison.
(a) The Netherlands is the third largest trading partner and the second largest foreign investor in the country.
(b) The Netherlands maintains significant business interests in the Philippines in strategic industries including:
· oil industry (Royal Dutch Shell),
· petroleum trading, oil and gas exploration (Vitol Group),
· consumer product brands in foods, beverages and personal care products (Unilever),
· banking (ABN-AMRO),
· insurance (AXA-Life),
· coco coir export (Rinos B.V-Corion),
· consumer electronics (Phillips),
· retail industry (Makro),
· solar energy (Shell Solar Philippines, Inc) among others
(c) The US-Arroyo regime has virtually turned over the gas reserves of Malampaya and the indigenous peoples' ancestral lands into agricultural plantations to serve Dutch multinational corporations. Earlier this month Premier Oil was granted the right to drill an exploration well in the Ragay Gulf in the Bicol region. Premier has earmarked between $3.6 million and $9.6 million to drill its first exploration well by July-September 2007.
  1. Why do we say that the case of Prof. Sison is a case of Dutch imperialist intervention?
With the case of Prof. Sison, the Dutch authorities arrogantly impose their own judicial system and jurisprudence over that of the Philippines. They completely disregard Philippine Supreme Court decisions and the fact that there are no cases in any Philippine court against Prof. Sison for the deaths of Kintanar and Tabara. The political persecution of Prof. Sison by the Dutch government is an arrogant display of superiority over the Philippine judicial system and jurisprudence.
This infringes on Philippine sovereignty and clearly meddles with the internal affairs of the Philippines. The arrest, continued detention and torture of Prof. Sison, the chief political consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, has also effectively terminated the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.
The Dutch government is reliving its colonial past when it decided to meddle in Philippine affairs with the political persecution of Prof. Sison. This the Dutch government does to protect and advance their economic interests in the Philippines.
This is reminiscent of the era of Dutch colonialism when the Dutch East Indies Company expanded its hegemony in Asia, especially Indonesia, and Latin America (Suriname and the Dutch Antilles).
In its interventionist actions, the Dutch government is violating the right of the Filipino people to self-determination.
It is hypocritical for the Dutch government to attack the historical and inherent right of peoples, particularly the Filipino people, to struggle against an illegitimate, corrupt, brutal and tyrannical regime and to determine their own economic, social, political and cultural development free from any foreign control and interference.
We would beg to ask where the House of Orange (The Netherlands) would be if the Dutch people had not asserted the same right to rebel against Spanish colonial rule? Where would The Netherlands be if the Dutch people did not forcefully remove by armed struggle the yoke of Spanish rule?
The hypocrisy of the Dutch government towards human rights and the rights of peoples betrays the current interventionist policies of this imperialist state.
  1. Why do we say that the unjust arrest of Prof. Sison and the ransacking of the residences and offices of Filipino progressives in the Netherlands is a clear case of repression?
Instead of dragging the Arroyo government into court for its war crimes and crimes against humanity, the Dutch authorities chose to persecute Prof. Sison, a patriot and exceptional freedom fighter for cause of the Filipino working class and people.
By aligning itself with the murderous and criminal Arroyo regime which masterminded the more than 800 extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, the enforced disappearances of hundreds more and the forced displacement of millions of Filipinos from their communities, the Dutch government has clearly taken the side of state terrorism.
Particularly in the case of Prof. Sison and his colleagues,
(a) In true blue Gestapo fashion, the Dutch police arrested Prof. Sison and conducted the raids. T he police used a ruse to take Prof. Sison into custody. Also during the raids, the raiding team in some cases, did not show any search warrant and forced their entry into the houses by breaking the doors even if people were inside. In some of the houses that were raided, only minors were present.
(b) Julie de Lima Sison, wife of Sison, said at around 9:30 am last Aug. 28, the Dutch police in plainclothes did not even ring or knock, but instead broke down their front door. She was reportedly asked to sit in one corner of their house while the police carted away their computers, documents, CDs, and other files. The search lasted until early evening. She sustained bruises because of manhandling.
(c) Simultaneous with Joma's arrest and the search on his house, the NDF International Information Office and several other houses of Filipinos in Utrecht, were raided. The Dutch police confiscated computers, laptops, papers, diskettes, CD Roms, and DVDs.
  1. Why do we say that Prof. Sison is suffering torture?
(a) His lawyer, Michiel Pestman, said that he is being kept in solitary confinement, denied visits from his wife, denied warm clothing, denied access to his medicines and access to his own doctor, denied access to newspapers and TV.
(b) Julie De Lima, wife of Professor Sison, tried to see him last Aug. 30 but was denied. She said she also brought some prescription medicines and warm clothes, but prison authorities said these were not allowed.
(c) Professor Sison is being detained at the National Penitentiary in Scheveningen, a facility which was used by the Nazis during World War II to imprison and torture Dutch resistance fighters.
(d) Despite the weak evidence presented by the Dutch prosecutor in the remand hearing in The Hague last Aug. 31, the Dutch judge extended the detention of Professor Sison to 14 more days.
Even when the case against Prof. Sison is still in the stage of being heard and investigated, the Dutch government is determined to violate his basic rights and is treating him torturously. This is a testimony to the hypocrisy of the Dutch government's adherence to human rights and the rule of law.
  1. Why do we say that the most just demand is to immediately and unconditionally release Prof. Jose Maria Sison?
(a) The case against him is based on trumped up charges and is politically-motivated.
(b) There is a conspiracy by the Dutch and Philippine governments to persecute Prof. Sison politically.
(c) The persecution of Sison through the use of judicial processes exposes the rottenness and corruption of the Dutch justice and political system.
(d) The unjust arrest shows Dutch repression. The Dutch authorities are now torturing Prof. Sison.
(e) The conspiracy of persecution is a concrete manifestation of Dutch imperialist intervention and repression and is an affront to the right of the Filipino people to self-determination.

International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS)
Hong Kong Chapter

Friday, August 24, 2007

Join Us!

From September 11 -15, several women activists from the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, South Korea, and Guam will be gathering in the San Fransisco bay area to share and talk about their experiences, strategies, and projects to transform local communities and cultures affected by U.S. militarism.

Women Resisting Militarism and Creating a Culture of Life
6th International Meeting

Tuesday Sept. 11
Filipino Community Center, 35 San Juan Ave, San Francisco
(buses 14, 49; Balboa BART)
hosted by babae, FACES, Gabnet.

Wednesday Sept. 12
La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
(Ashby BART)
hosted by Bay Area Boricuas and others

Thursday Sept. 13
Pacific School For Religion Chapel, 1798 Scenic Ave, Berkeley
(Berkeley BART)
hosted by KAWAN, KAUP and PANA Institute

Friday Sept. 14
American Friends Service Committee, 65-9th St, San Francisco
(Civic Center BART)
hosted by Famoksaiyan, Friends of Okinawa

September 15, 7pm
Join women from Guam, Hawaii, Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines, Puerto
Rico, South Korea and the Bay Area in an evening of art and celebration!

FREE -- donations accepted!
San Francisco Women's Building, 3543 18th Street, San Francisco (Mission/16th St. BART)

Sponsored by Women for Genuine Security and PANA Institute Civil Liberty and Faith Project, this is the sixth meeting of its kind since 1997.

For more information, you can visit http://www.genuinesecurity.org/ or contact Women for Genuine Security, info@genuinesecurity.org, 510 849-8260.