MANILA – Anti-communist groups on Thursday questioned the status of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison as a political refugee at the Netherlands, saying Sison does not deserve to get protection from the Dutch government.
In a rally staged in front of the Dutch embassy in Makati City, the League of Parents of the Philippines (LPP), Liga Filipinas Independencia (LFI), League of Youth for Peace Advancement (LYPAD) and Coalition for Peace (COPA) called for the return of Sison.
The protesters also slammed Dutch Ambassador Saskia De Lang for ignoring their petition on Sison’s case.
LPP chairman and LFI spokesperson Nolan Tiongco said Sison is not a political refugee but a “political terrorist”.
“The Dutch government should stop coddling Joma Sison once and for all. Listen to us, listen to the real victims of atrocities,” he said, adding that all forms of protection given to him as a political refugee should be removed “because he does not deserve any of it.”
“Matagal na kaming tumututol sa ginagawa ni Ambassador Saskia De Lang na pangdededma sa aming mga petisyon, mga letter o hinaing na pauwiin na si Joma Sison. Nakakadismaya syempre pero hindi naman kami titigil, pupwersashin namin siya na magdesisyon na pauwiin si Joma dito, kasi ang kapakanan ng taumbayan ang aming isinasaalang-alang (For the longest time, we feel disappointed that Ambassador Saskia De Lang is ignoring our petition, our letters and our call to return Joma Sison here. It must be frustrating but we will not stop, we will force her to decide to send back Joma home, because our concern here is the welfare of Filipino people),” he said.
Meanwhile, LPP member Julius Ursua said the Dutch government should withdraw the political asylum it has granted to Sison, as he called on Sison to face the charges against him in the Philippines.
“Pabalikin niyo si Joma Sison dito sa Pilipinas at harapin niya ang kanyang mga patong-patong na kaso sa pagpatay sa mga ordinaryong mamamayang Pilipino, sa pagpatay sa mga pulis, at sa pagpatay sa mga sundalo. Hayaan niyo siyang harapin niya ang mga kasong isinampa sa kanya. Hayaan niyo siyang maranasan niya ang patas na hustiya dito sa Pilipinas (Bring back Joma Sison here in the Philippines so he could face his punishment over the murder of innocent individuals, policemen and soldiers. Let him face the murder cases filed against him. Let him experience fair justice in the Philippines),” he said.
The groups also demanded a concrete explanation from the Dutch ambassador as to why its government is still allowing Sison to stay in the Netherlands amid the “visible” terrorist activities and atrocities of the CPP-NPA-NDF under Sison’s leadership.
Not a victim of persecution
Ursua also insisted that Sison is not a victim of political persecution and there is no reason for him to stay long in the Netherlands, calling Sison an “aggressor to the Philippine government.”
During the protest, Tiongco said the groups had already handed 22 written pleas to the Dutch government through De Lang, which were acknowledged and received by the office, but kept receiving “no response” from the Netherlands.
The placard-bearing protesters threw rotten tomatoes at the effigy of De Lang and Sison.
The group also burned Sison’s effigy along with the Netherlands’ national flag, calling on the Dutch government to help address the long-standing communist insurgency.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)