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NDFP denounces EU “Terrorist Listing” of the CPP, NPA and NDFP Chief Political Consultant

4. December 2005

National Executive Committee
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
3 December 2005

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) denounces in the strongest terms the continued unjust and malicious listing of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the NDFP Chief Political Consultant as well as the recent inclusion of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in the so-called terrorist blacklist of the Council of the European Union (EU).

This listing is contrary to fundamental democratic principles as well as pertinent international conventions including the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). It blatantly violates the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 2000 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. International covenants, resolutions and scholarly commentaries have established that national liberation movements and their use of armed force have acquired legitimacy in international law and are thus recognized as engaged in a legitimate struggle. Consequently, liberation struggles and their movements who adhere to and respect international humanitarian law cannot and should not be regarded as “terrorists”. The Council of the EU listing disregards this legitimate status by arrogantly branding national liberation struggles as “terrorism” and obstructs the political solution of the armed conflict related thereto.

The CPP and the NPA, which are components of the NDFP, are key forces in the Philippine national liberation movement waging a just war. They are duly recognized as such in the international community. Their status under international law cannot be prejudiced by the unilateral action of foreign governments. It is plain that the EU has used the fight against terrorism as a mere pretext for misrepresenting as common criminals entire movements and individuals engaged in the struggle for national and social liberation. In fact, a recent report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) categorically confirms that the CPP and NPA cannot be classified as terrorist groups and that they do not engage in terrorist acts. It emphatically observes that their historical record of armed struggle proves that they do not have a policy and practice of deliberately targeting the civilian population. Moreover, the NPA has never engaged in any transnational or cross border act of violence against its adversaries.

Highly respected international human rights groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists and Statewatch, which monitor the civil liberties in the EU, reveal and declare that “terrorist” listings are “arbitrary, secretive, and unjust” and “raise serious human rights concerns” because they are “frequently drawn up on a basis of secret intelligence, and that the normal judicial process governing such serious accusations, and their prosecution, is discarded”. They point out that such lists make no allowance for groups and individuals that are engaged in acts of resistance to occupation or tyranny as a legitimate right to self-defense and determination and warn that freedom fighters and their supporters are being criminalized. Amnesty International shares the view that these EU so-called counterterrorism initiatives, including its “terrorist blacklists”, are compromising human rights.

By the “terrorist listing”, the EU governments have actively and shamelessly pandered to the wishes of the US government and its neocolonial underling, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). Such listing violates the letter and spirit of the The Hague Joint Declaration (THJD) of 1992, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) of 1995, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) of 1998, and the Oslo Joint Statements I and II of 2004. As a consequence, the formal talks in the peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP have been paralyzed.

The “terrorist listing” violates the principle of national sovereignty in The Hague Joint Declaration by interfering in Philippine affairs and usurping jurisdiction over the alleged acts of the CPP and NPA in the Philippines. It should also be noted again for emphasis that the CPP and NPA have never engaged in any act that may be considered terrorist, whether in the Philippines or outside. It is likewise violative of THJD and its principle of noncapitulation that the “terrorist listing” is used by the GRP to pressure the NDFP to capitulate to the GRP.

Just like the United States, the EU has no legitimate prerogative to violate the national sovereignty of the Filipino people and the territorial integrity of the Philippines by inofficiously usurping jurisdiction over Philippine revolutionary entities and events. It is patently arrogant for foreign governments to invoke their own sovereignty as they trample on other peoples’ sovereignty. The Council, in arbitrarily designating persons, groups or entities as “terrorists” by summary decision, has acted illegitimately as a judicial superbody.

The “terrorist listing” violates the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees. It takes away these guarantees from the NDFP Chief Political Consultant, Professor Jose Maria Sison, even as there is no basis to charge him with any kind of criminal offense in the Philippines or anywhere in the world. The disrespect for these guarantees, as demonstrated by the “terrorist listing”, puts at risk and has a chilling effect on all the panelists, consultants, staffers and other duly authorized persons in the negotiating work of the NDFP, including those in the NDFP nominated section to the Joint Secretariat of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the CARHRIHL based in Manila.

Particularly in the case of Prof. Sison, the EU listing is contrary to the basic tenets of due process including the presumption of innocence, the rights to defense, to a fair and public hearing, to be informed promptly of the nature and cause of the accusation, and to examine or have witnesses against him examined, among others. The Council of the EU arbitrarily accuses him of the heinous crime of terrorism, applies punitive sanctions on him, including the termination of the essential means to human existence, subjects him to mental torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, and yet casuistically claims all these to be mere administrative restrictive measures.

In this regard, prestigious lawyers and lawyers organizations like the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), the Conference of Lawyers in Asia and the Pacific (COLAP) and the US-based National Lawyers Guild (NLG) have come out with strong statements and resolutions supporting Prof. Sison and opposing his arbitrary, illegal and unjust inclusion in these lists. The NLG has recently called for the “full respect for the rights of Prof. Sison under the Refugee Convention, European Convention on Human Rights, European Treaty and other relevant international conventions”. It pointed out that the inclusion of Prof. Sison was done “without citing any specific act that would merit” such listing.

The “terrorist listing” violates the basic rights and the Hernandez political offense doctrine enshrined in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. The Hernandez political offense doctrine mandates that all acts aimed at the forcible overthrow of the Philippine government in pursuit of one’s political beliefs must be subsumed in one case of rebellion and cannot be mutated into several common crimes.

No “anti-terrorism” law exists in the Philippines. The GRP has made frantic moves in collaboration with the US government to railroad the passage of one that would exclude from its scope the wholesale terrorism of US aggression and the most heinous acts of state terrorism by the GRP against the people. The “anti-terrorism” bill now under deliberation ultimately targets the Philippine national liberation movement with provisions that negate and violate even more the people’s basic civil and political rights. It aims to ride roughshod over the Filipino people and to further provide impunity to state authorities and even foreign military forces to commit the gravest violations of the people’s basic civil and political liberties.

The Council of the EU’s latest “terrorist” listing of the CPP, NPA and Prof. Sison on 18 October 2005 is totally devoid of factual and legal basis. It is a highly politically-motivated malicious act deliberately done at the instigation of the GRP and the US in a futile scheme to compel the NDFP to capitulate to the GRP through the peace negotiations. It is unjust for the Council of the EU to label as “terrorist” the most important forces represented by the NDFP and disregard completely the fact of the NDFP’s firm commitment to adhere to international humanitarian law and human rights, as evidenced by the 1991 NDFP Declaration of Adherence to International Humanitarian Law, the 1996 NDFP Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions and Protocol I and the 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law that it has signed with the GRP.

The Council of the EU runs counter to the 1997 and 1999 resolutions of the European Parliament endorsing the holding of GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in Europe. It is rendering impossible the resumption of formal talks in the peace negotiations in Europe. It has become necessary to look for a foreign neutral venue other than Europe. This search would delay the formal talks indefinitely or even scuttle the entire peace negotiations. The people in Europe need to know the increasingly repressive conditions that are making Europe inhospitable to the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

By the “terrorist” listing, the Council of the EU gives premium and further license to the mad dogs among the military, police and irregular armed personnel of the GRP to continue the incitement to violence and human rights violations not only against the CPP, NPA, NDFP and its Chief Political Consultant but also against activists, progressives and other civilians who are merely labeled or suspected as members of, or as sympathetic to, the revolutionary movement and subjected to the most heinous, barbaric and unbridled attacks. It is deeply regrettable that fascism is moving ahead in the Philippines, in Europe and elsewhere under the auspices of the hysterical Bush policy of “war on terror.”

The Council of the EU is contributing to the paralysis of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, making Europe inhospitable to these peace negotiations and emboldening the escalation of human rights violations in the Philippines. The CPP, NPA and NDFP and the Chief Political Consultant, the revolutionary movement and the Filipino people are not intimidated by the “terrorist listing”. They are firmly committed to the Filipino people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy. They are determined to pursue this struggle with ever greater courage and vigor. They are confident that the Filipino people and the organized revolutionary forces will prevail over the real terrorists. ###

Certified by:
Member, National Executive Committee
Chairperson, Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
3 December 2005

Ruth de Leon
Executive Director
NDFP International Information Office
Fax +31-30-2322989