The Hague (April 3) — Dutch authorities have dropped murder charges filed against Jose M. Sison, founding chair and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) senior political consultant March 31 “due to insufficient legal and convincing evidence.”
Murder charges were filed in 2007 against Sison for the death of Romulo Kintanar in 2003 and Arturo Tabara in 2004. Both were former commanders of the New People’s Army (NPA), the communist party’s armed wing.
Sison was arrested in August 28 and imprisoned for 17 days by the Dutch police. He was ordered released by The Hague District Court for “lack of hard evidence.” The Court of Appeals upheld this decision in October 2007.
In November 2007, the public prosecutor’s office initially closed the preliminary investigation against Sison but later decided to continue pursuing the case. In June 2008, the district court determined that the prosecution still had no evidence, and gave it time to wrap up the case. On March 31, the Dutch national prosecution office formally informed Sison that it had finally dropped the case.
Meanwhile, the Philippines’ National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said the government will seek his deportation. Although he said Manila and The Hague do not have extradition treaty, it would not stop the administration from working out an arrangement to have Sison extradited.
“Sison may be free now from the suit against him in Dutch courts, but not from the arm of our own justice system,” he said. “The government will write our Dutch counterparts to formally seek Sison’s expulsion from his European base. We will really go after him”
He was also quoted by the press as saying “even without an extradition treaty, the two states can come up with a formula to have him returned here. The Dutch government also does not want him there, the proof of which is that until now he has not yet been granted political asylum.”
In a statement, the CPP said, “all this confirms that the charges filed against Comrade Sison were false from the very start and were only cooked up by the Arroyo regime through its Inter-Agency Legal Advisory Group (IALAG) with the instigation and support of US security agencies and joined in by the Dutch police.”
Sison, 70, has been living in The Netherlands since 1987. Dutch authorities have frozen his assets and pension after he was included in the US and European Union’s list of terrorists.