Sison says he has 'absolute protection' from deportation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 11 2019 08:28 AM | Updated as of Sep 11 2019 08:44 AM

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MANILA - Exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison on Wednesday said there was "no way" he would be extradited after Philippine authorities said it has sought the assistance of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) for his arrest.

Sison said he is protected by the United Nations' Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

"No international authority can override the fact that I am in the Netherlands and within the jurisdiction of the Netherlands," he told ANC's Early Edition.

"There’s no way I can be extradited. I enjoy absolute protection from being deported from the Netherlands whether it is to the Philippines or a third country."

A Manila court last week ordered Sison's arrest along with 37 for the "Inopacan massacre," a 1980s purge of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) members accused of various offenses in Leyte province.

Sison slammed the charges against him as "politically motivated and fabricated." 

"In 1985, I was under maximum security detention and I had no authority whatsoever in the CPP and the New People's Army (NPA)," he said.

The CPP founder also rejected the possibility of returning to the Philippines. Last year, Sison said he was optimistic he could visit Manila depending on the outcome of peace negotiations, which has since been terminated.

Ties between Sison and President Rodrigo Duterte soured last year after the President accused communist rebels of continuing their attacks against government troops despite the ongoing peace talks.

"It’s foolish for me to enter the trap of Duterte. I don’t think I will get any fair trial in the Philippines. I would be subjected to torture, physical and psychological," he said.

"The burden of proving that I will have due process in the Philippines belongs to a regime proving to be tyrannical more and more."

Sison said it would take a "miracle" for Duterte to resume peace negotiations.

"If a miracle occurs that Mr. Duterte would like to have peace negotiations, I think the National Democratic Front of the Philippines would have to take his change of mind seriously," he said.

"But I think it’s too much now to expect Duterte will draw away from his scheme to become a fascist dictator."