Protesters converge on Netherlands office over arrest


COMMUNIST CALL: The leader of the protest said Sison's arrest had to be politically motivated since he was cleared of charges in a Philippine high court By Rich Chang STAFF REPORTER Monday, Sep 03, 2007, Page 2

Labor right activists along with Philippine immigrants staged a protest directly in front of the building of the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taipei yesterday over the recent arrest of Communist Party of the Philippines chief Jose Maria Sison.

Protesters from Migrante International's Taiwan chapter, the Labor Rights Association, and the Taiwan Committee for Philippine Concerns, as well as scores of Philippine immigrants, shouted "release Sison now," "end political persecution of Mr Sison." Some shouted "stop human rights violations of the Filipino people."

Sison was arrested in the Netherlands last Tuesday on suspicion of ordering the murders of Arturo Tabara and Romulo Kinanar -- both of whom had split with Sison's New Peoples Army (NPA) for ideological reasons. The two were gunned down in separate attacks in 2003 and last year.


The leader of yesterday's protest, Wong Ying-dah (汪英達), said that Sison's arrest must be political in nature since his alleged involvement in the murders was cleared by the Philippine Supreme Court in July for lack of evidence.

Even the terrorist listing of Sison had already been lifted in July by the European Court in Luxembourg, he said.


Sison was granted political asylum in the Netherlands in 1988 and has resided there since that time.

Wong said yesterday that many Philippine immigrants are angry at Sison's arrest and thought the Philippine government was being unjust.