Review stand on Joma, group urges Dutch gov’t

By Marita Moaje

June 30, 2021, 7:19 pm

<p>Yes for Peace-Bayanihan ng Bayani’s letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte</p>

Yes for Peace-Bayanihan ng Bayani’s letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

MANILA – Non-government organization Yes for Peace-Bayanihan ng Bayani (Y4P-BnB) has asked the government of The Netherlands to review its position on Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison.

In its June 28 letter sent to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte through Dutch Ambassador to the Philippines Robert Brinks, the Y4P-BnB expressed disappointment over the continuous harboring of the communist terrorist group (CTG) leader.

The group said it is exasperated over the pervading extremist violence in the country by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP.

“The violence we speak of is the result of continued human rights atrocities and international humanitarian law violations perpetrated by the New People's s Army on orders from Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines,” the letter read.

The Yes for Peace said it still does not understand why the Dutch government still gives protection to Sison.

In February this year, the group said the European Union has renewed the terror listing of the CPP-NPA through the EU Council Implementing Regulation 2021/138.

The listing of the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group is based on numerous evidence reports of crimes by the CTG against the poor and powerless.

The United Nations, in its Secretary General’s Report on Children in Armed Conflict dated June 20, 2019, said the NPA has been listed alongside other international terrorist groups such as the Daesh, ISIS, Taliban, and Al-Qaeda.

“Is it within Dutch laws to shelter leaders of an organization that the EU has declared as a terrorist group? The last time we looked, The Netherlands is a member of the EU. So, why does it continue to harbor a terrorist in the person of CPP founding father Sison? What will it take to convince the Dutch government to cancel the asylum it granted to Sison and other CPP leaders who are with him?” the group said.

Sison’s argument that it is not safe for him to return and stay in the country because of the violent condition is ridiculous as he is the main orchestrator of the violence most especially in the countryside, it added.

The group said Sison has been directing the CPP-NPA and its legal front organizations “by remote control from Utrecht”.

Continuous coddling of Sison puts The Netherlands as an accomplice in the spread of terrorism in the country, the group said.

It added that it has given Sison the benefit of the doubt in the pursuance of its peace-related agenda through a peace negotiation.

The group in 1992 declared all campuses of the University of the Philippines as zones of peace, freedom, and neutrality where peace negotiations may be held between the government and all non-State armed groups.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines listed the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. (PNA)