Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 33 September 22 - 28, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
and Canadian Human Rights Organizations Demand Justice at Dutch Consulate
By the B.C. Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (BCCHRP)
Chanting “Justice for Jose Maria Sison!” “U.S. imperialist! Number one terrorist!” and “Don’t believe the anti-terrorist hype! Protect Sison’s human rights!” over 30 overseas Filipinos and concerned Canadians rallied to collectively express their outrage at the Dutch consulate in Vancouver yesterday.
rallyists brought forward the urgent case of Professor Jose Maria Sison, a
Filipino political refugee in the Netherlands, who is under political
persecution since the Dutch government branded him a “terrorist.”
Following the August 9, 2002 announcement by U.S. Secretary of State
Colin Powell that the U.S. placed the Communist Party of the Philippines/New
People's Army (CPP/NPA) on its list of so-called Foreign Terrorist
Organizations, the Dutch government quickly answered the call of the U.S. and
ordered that the bank accounts of the CPP, NPA, and, Professor Sison (current
chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
and founding chair of the CPP) be frozen. The
Dutch government also proposed the inclusion of the CPP, NPA and Professor Sison
on the European Union list of "terrorists.”
Professor Sison’s bank account is frozen and his rightful social benefits
terminated, effectively robbing him and his family of the basic necessities of
life, such as food, shelter, and health. There
are threats that Professor Sison, who is a recognized and legitimate political
refugee, will be unjustly extradited to the U.S.
Filipino workers, women, and youth, alongside members of the Mexican,
Palestinian, South Asian, and First Nations communities, as well as Canadian
workers and human rights organizations demanded that the Dutch government defy
the U.S. government’s wish to suppress and silence Professor Sison.
political persecution of Professor Sison by the U.S., Dutch, and Canadian
governments is an explicit attempt to limit the Filipino people’s democratic
right to organize and express their aspirations for national liberation,”
asserted Beth Grayer of Grassroots Women in front of the Dutch consulate.
rallyists took their concerns straight to the Dutch consulate office doors where
they were told by intercom that they could not enter.
The group sent a small delegation to present the petition demanding
Professor Sison’s legitimate rights be protected.
A staff member of the consulate assured the delegation that the petition
and concerns would be transmitted to the Dutch Consul General in Vancouver Y.
Coryn and the Prime Minister of Netherlands. She also asked that the delegation
inform the rallyists who were continuing their demonstration on the street.
overseas Filipino community and its supporters vowed that they would continue to
mount pressure on the Dutch government until they retract their discriminatory
treatment of Professor Sison. As
stated by Aiyanas Ormond of the Bus Riders’ Union, “The stand for the human
rights of Professor Sison, is a minimum stand for what democracy and human
rights we do have and against mounting reaction and the specter of fascism.”
and human rights organizations in Canada plan to heighten their campaign to
expose and oppose the U.S.-led political witch-hunt that is trying to destroy
the Filipino people’s legitimate aspirations of genuine freedom, democracy and
a just and lasting peace.
more information or interviews, please call the B.C. Committee for Human Rights
in the Philippines (BCCHRP) at (604) 215-1905.
September 17, 2002 Bulatlat.com