What made you confident of the eventual dismissal of the case?
I was confident because of several reasons. First of all, I had nothing to do with the killing of the security consultants and military assets Kintanar and Tabara. Secondly, I had excellent Dutch and Filipino lawyers who undertook my legal defense. Thirdly, I had the abundant support of the people and organized forces worldwide.
There was no real incriminating evidence against me because of my innocence. On the other hand, my Filipino lawyers Attys. Romeo T. Capulong, Rachel F. Pastores and Amylyn Sato of the Public Interest Law Center collected more than enough evidence and witnesses in my legal defense.
Attorney Capulong wrote a memorandum pointing out that the Kintanar and Tabara incidents had been previously used as false specifications in the charge of rebellion against me and 50 others. The Philippine Supreme Court had ordered the dismissal of this charge in June 2007. The records of the police, prosecution and court in the city and region where the incidents occurred never included me as a suspect.
My Dutch lawyers Michiel Pestman as lead, Victor Koppe and Suus Hopman of the Bohler, Franken, Koppe and Wijngaarden law firm are topnotch in Dutch and international criminal law and had the prompt cooperation of my Filipino lawyers. They were also backed by the consultants Prof. Ties Prakken who is an authority on criminal law; Jan Fermon, my lead lawyer in my case against the “terrorist” blacklist; Bernard Tomlow who is the lawyer of the NDFP; and Dundar Gurses of the Schoolplein Advocaten.
I have enjoyed the solidarity and support of the people and organized forces in the Philippines, Netherlands and many other countries. Immediately after my arrest in August 2007, protest actions against Dutch embassies and consulates occurred in more than twenty cities of the world. The International DEFEND Committee, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle and all the progressive organizations of Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad cooperated in bringing about an international campaign to defend and support me.
Do you think the US, Philippine, and Dutch governments knew all along that they did not have a strong case against you, but pushed it anyway as a way of derailing you from your work for the NDFP Peace Panel and the ILPS?
The false charge of inciting murder was devised by the US, Philippine and Dutch governments more in order to fish evidence for the bigger false charge of terrorism against me and others in the NDFP Negotiating Panel than to derail me from my work for the panel and the ILPS. Of course, the false charges of murder and terrorism are both meant to pressure the entire panel towards capitulation in the peace negotiations with the Manila government.
The three governments have repeatedly used false charges against me in order to oppress me. They have a common position of waging a relentless ideological struggle against me. They have used false charges to block my application for political asylum and residence since 1988; to justify my inclusion in the so-called terrorist blacklist since 2002; and to arrest and detain me and conduct the raids in 2007.
They have collaborated in using the false charge of inciting murder as pretext for arresting me, raiding the NDF information office and homes of the members, consultants and staffers and seizing documents and personal properties. These were done as fishing expedition to seek evidence against all of us to back up the bigger false charge of terrorism.
As a consequence, the Dutch government and the Council of the European Union are maliciously claiming that the Dutch district and appellate courts that released me from pre-trial detention in the case of inciting murder have practically judged me as a “terrorist” by declaring that there are “indications” that I play a “prominent role” in the Communist Party of the Philippines which heads or is linked to the New People’s Army.
The non sequitur use of a passing statement in a court judgment in my favor on a charge of inciting murder is actually carried by the latest arguments of the Council of the European Union against my application for the removal of my name from the terrorist blacklist before the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.