Friends have been egging me to reply to Conrad de Quiros’ column piece yesterday entitled “Justice”. Kenneth beat me to it, and I think he has pointed out the fallacies and myths on the ongoing persecution of Sison.
Manolo Quezon, who quoted portions of one of my recent blog posts on Sison, said the arrest should be good for Sison and the Left as it will hold them accountable for crimes attributed to them.
Sison unfortunately cannot react to the all-out propaganda war directed against him. He has been held incommunicado in a The Hague jail.
What is conveniently left out by those who detest Sison is the fact that he has never been convicted of any crime in any of our courts, except perhaps by one of the farcical military commissions set up by Marcos during the dictatorship. If Philippine courts have not found him guilty, then it is downright anomalous that a Dutch court now suddenly professes the capability to judge him.
The charges made by the widows of Tabara and Kintanar were included in the rebellion case filed against 50 legal and underground leftist leaders (including the Batasan 6 and Sison). The Supreme Court has already trashed the case with finality last July. But this is easily forgotten and it is obviously quite easier to demonize Sison.
The protests against the persecution of Sison has also been deplored by the Inquirer in an editorial. Inquirer’s arguments are nothing new and not different to the unintelligent and unfair demonization stories against Sison. The premise for Inquirer’s call for a trial of Sison is legal flotsam: The High Court has already dismissed it along with other trumped up charges.
There is nothing amazing about the adverse impact of Sison’s arrest on the efforts to revive formal peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front and Manila. NDF chief negotiator has said that it will doom the talks, which is understandable because how can the NDF trust its counterpart when the chief NDF consultant is arbitrarily arrested to face recycled charges?
What did the Inquirer expect the Left to do after Sison’s arrest and after the fishy circumstances and rotten basis for it were laid bare? Should the Left be happy that Sison is jailed? Should the NDF and the Filipino people praise the Dutch government for persecuting Sison who is staying in Netherlands to prevent such a thing from befalling him here in the Philippines?
The top brass and publicists of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, like true cowards who can’t defeat the NPA in the battlefield, are so deliriously happy over the development. But even the worst scenarios — the transfer of custody to the Philippines or the US, or Sison’s assassination — won’t result in the demise of the leftist movement in the country. Crisanto Evangelista, the founder of the first Communist Party, was killed by the Japanese but was replaced by many others who carried on the fight for a socialist Philippines.
The US-inspired demonization of all leftist ideas and personalities could be the explanation for the avalanche of anti-Sison and anti-left commentaries. No second thoughts are given in the calls for Sison’s head. These self-proclaimed liberal democrats loudly fight for civil rights and due process “for all” when it is their kind who bear the brunt of persecution, but they turn into fascists when persons like Sison who are being hurt.
The ongoing demonization of Sison provides the left the opportunity to clarify its role in society, its aspirations and its record.
Ninotchka Rosca said it best: “The more you put Sison down, the more you raise him up in the eyes of the people.”
Photo: NDF negotiators Luis Jalandoni, Jose Maria Sison nd Fidel Agcaoili and NDF panel general counsel Romeo Capulong