Thursday, April 16, 2009

Charges Against Sison Dropped

Dutch prosecutors drop false murder rap against poet and Filipino people's leader for lack of evidence

by J.D. Benjamin

Basics Issue #13 (Apr/May 2009)

Prof. Sison and his supporters are celebrating the decision of the Dutch prosecutors to end their year and a half long investigation into his alleged involvement in the murders of two military assets working for the Philippine government. Sison is a poet, writer and activist living in exile in the Netherlands.

"I've long expected the decision to be dismissed because in the first place I'm innocent of the charge," Sison said during a press conference.

The accusation was a result of false information fed by the Philippine government of current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is eager to silence one of her most prominent opponents. The false charges were an attempt to distract Sison from his role as chairman of the International League of Peoples' Struggles, a coalition of democratic and anti-imperialist people's organizations from around the world, as well as his work as a political consultant for the National Democratic Front (NDF). The NDF has been fighting a 40-year-long civil war against the brutal and corrupt government of the Philippines.

Despite the clearing of Sison, the legal harassment against him has not ended. The Arroyo regime has announced that they will seek extradition of Sison, despite his recognized status as a political refugee.

Sison has announced his plans to sue Dutch prosecutors for legal costs as well as moral and material damages.