On May 29, 2007, the Council of the European Union decided to retain Sison in its “terrorist” list. The council, in its decision, cited the Raad van State and Rechtbank rulings, arguing that these constituted steps by “competent national authorities” to “(instigate)… investigations or prosecute for a terrorist act.” While this decision was annulled by the July 11, 2007 verdict of the ECFI, the Council of the European Union made several decisions maintaining Sison’s inclusion in the “terrorist” list and continuing to freeze his funds.
Last Sept. 30, the ECFI ruled that the Raad van State and Rechtbank decisions do not amount to conviction, nor to decisions to investigate or prosecute Sison for any alleged “terrorist” act.
After seven years of being labeled as a terrorist, Sison is elated to be finally stricken of the EU list of foreign “terrorists”.
“The legal victory means that I have prevailed over some great suffering for a long while,” Sison said. During those seven years, he said, his social benefits — living allowance, health insurance, housing and old age pension — were terminated. He was also banned from gainful employment.
He was prevented from legal admission as a refugee and from the grant of residence permit.
“My right to travel was curtailed. I was demonized and stigmatized as a ‘terrorist.’ Hatred was thus incited against me by governments and other reactionary forces, endangering my life and limb and attacking my honor and reputation,” Sison said.
Besides this, Sison said, this victory will enable him “to function more freely and efficiently” as chairman of the International League of Peoples Struggles. He can also now pay his debts, he said.
He said he intends to seek compensation for the damages that he suffered as a result of his inclusion in the EU “terror” list and the subsequent freezing of his social benefits.
Sison said the EU court’s decision has positive implications on the peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and his participation in the talks as chief political consultant. For the NDFP. For one, he can move freely now to, according to him, promote and clarify issues on the negotiations. “Previously, there was so much hassle in getting the laissez passer and the return visa before I could go to Oslo,” he said, adding that the delisting removes restraints on his travel. (Bulatlat.com)