International Defend Committee Condemns Yearly Slander Against Prof. Jose Maria Sison (PR)

Press Statement
August 20, 2010

We wish to remind the public and the mass media that in 1994 the office of the Manila prosecutor’s office approved and issued a resolution dated March 2, 1994 dismissing as based on sheer speculation the charge of multiple murder against Prof. Jose Maria Sison and others in connection with the Plaza Miranda bombing of August 21, 1971.

The full resolution is annexed hereto and is also available at (Part XIV, No. 2 Resolution of Manila Prosecutors Dismissing 1991 Plaza Miranda Bombing Charge, March 2, 1994).

The resolution reads as follows:

“This refers to the infamous Plaza Miranda bombing which occurred in the evening of August 21, 1971 wherein several persons were killed and others severely injured.

“At the instance of the PNP- CISC, the leaders of the CPP NPA led by respondent Jose Ma. Sison were charged of Multiple Murder in connection with the same.

“Based on the report of the PNP- CISC, earlier that day, Jose Ma. Sison called for a conference, attended by the party’s top officers and among them were respondents Monico Atienza, Herminigildo Garcia IV, Manuel Collantes, Roque Magtanggol, John Doe alias Ka Donald, and Robert Doe alias Ka Daniel. Accordingly, the prime purpose of the meeting was to discuss a scheme to bring chaos between the two political parties (Liberal Party and Nacionalista Party) and in effect increase the sympathizers for the CPP/NPA and its manpower. Presumably this was the bombing of the Liberal Party’s political rally which would create a showdown between the Liberal Party and the Nacionalista Party. The actual bombing was allegedly implemented by Danny Cordero, alias Ka Danny or Ka Kris.

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“In support of the foregoing, the PNP- CISC submitted sworn statements of former members of the party who claimed to have knowledge of the bombing and further implicated the above respondents as the supposed planners of the bombing incident.

“Nothing shows clearly however, that the aforestated meeting delved on the planning of the Plaza Miranda Bombing. If at all only inferences were made in the statements. In other words the supposed participations of the respondents as planners or masterminds are sheer speculations. And if the only evidence against them consist, merely of the said statements, the same is not sufficient to charge them of multiple murder. Moreover, the implicated persons who supposedly have carried out the carnage are no longer around or nowhere to be found in order to shed light on the incident or dispute them.

“ To indict the respondents, therefore based solely on the submitted sworn statements is tantamount to a hasty, malicious and oppressive prosecution which is precisely what is being avoided through a preliminary investigation. There has to be more than what was submitted to establish probable cause.

“The undersigned therefore recommends the DISMISSAL of the instant case against all the respondents for lack of sufficient basis.” (Bold ours.)

Since the approval of the resolution in 1994, it has closed the false charge against Prof. Jose Maria Sison with complete finality. But it has become an annual ritual on or about August 21 for some detractors to repeat the false charge in the mass media. We condemn the slander against Prof. Sison as a malicious act of injustice and a violation of his rights.

Recently, one columnist has insinuated that Prof. Sison ordered the Plaza Miranda bombing. His mere innuendo does not deserve to be answered. But another columnist Gemma Cruz Araneta has blatantly written, “The unspeakable crime was attributed to President Ferdinand Marcos but years later, to everyone’s horror, Jose Ma. Sison, chairman of the Communist Party, revealed that he had ordered the bombing.”

The columnist makes a big lie by claiming that Prof. Sison “revealed that he had ordered the bombing”. She does not say when, where and to whom Prof. Sison has made the revelation. The fact is that he has always denied the false charge originally made by Ferdinand Marcos against Prof. Sison and Senator Benigno Aquino in order to justify the immediate suspension of the writ of habeas corpus on August 21, 1971.

The detractors against Prof. Jose Maria Sison as well as the late Senator Aquino are of at least four kinds:

1. Those who wish to justify the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in 1971 and the declaration of martial law in 1972 and wish to rehabilitate the reputation of the fascist dictator who scapegoated Sison and Aquino immediately after the incident and who benefited most from the incident;

2. Those who wish to denigrate the memory of the martyred Aquino and who go so far as to whisper around that as a matter of karma he was killed by Galman on the same date of August 21, 1983;

3. Those who are so rabidly anti-communist that they wish to destroy the Communist Party of the Philippines and the revolutionary movement by merely discrediting the founding chairman of the CPP; and

4. Those who are simply mischievous or malicious by inventing lies or by echoing mere rumors and hearsay.

Atty. Romeo T. Capulong of the Public Interest Law Center successfully defended Prof. Jose Maria Sison in 1989 against the false charge of masterminding the Plaza Miranda in joint hearings by the Senate blue ribbon and justice committees and debunked the false testimonies of the military and the professional witnesses against him. He pursued the defense of Prof. Sison before the Commission on Human Rights and before Manila prosecutor’s office. He is an indispensable source of information for any journalist who wishes to make any report, article or column about the long disproven charge against Prof. Sison.

After being roundly beaten in the Senate hearings, the military and police accusers of Sison went to the Commission on Human Rights, demanding that it reverse its 1986 decision clearing Prof. Sison and the CPP from the false charge of perpetrating the Plaza Miranda bombing. But the commission advised the military and police to go to the Manila court before the prescription of the case in 1991. Finally the Manila prosecutors made the resolution to dismiss the case in 1994.

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