ONLY the interference of the United States proves crucial for the return of Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison to the country.
Sison has expressed he is preparing for a possible return following the invitation of his pre-law student at the Lyceum of the Philippines, now President Rodrigo Duterte, to end his many years of self-imposed exile.
Sison said: “My lawyers and route planners are studying how to avoid any stopover where the government is rabidly pro-US and whether a return visa to The Netherlands effectively guarantees the protection provided by the European Convention on Human Rights.
“I can travel on a Philippine passport for the sake of the peace negotiations. I am most likely to visit the Philippines to promote and advance the peace process.”
Sison, who brushed off claims by Duterte that he was “very sick,” earlier said he was in the pink of health and expressed openness to return on the success of peace talks, or if he would get to be awarded as a National Artist.
Amid claims by the United States which branded Sison and the CPP as a “terrorist organization,” the rebel leader maintained he should be allowed to return to the country without US meddling.
Sison said: “Neither the US nor Interpol has any warrant of arrest against me. As a result of the foreign ‘terrorist’ labelling by the US State Department, there is only the order to the Office of the Foreign Asset Control under the US Treasury Department to prevent or freeze any bank account or financial transaction that I might have in the US banks.
“Thus, royalty payments to me by my American publishers have been frozen since 2002.”
He added: “The European Council through the Dutch government consulted the US before it decided to concede to the judgment of the European Court of Justice to remove my name from the EU “terrorist” list because of the violations of my rights.
“The US government could not give any new defamation against me.”
During the recently concluded fourth round of talks in the Netherlands, government and NDF negotiators both agreed to conclude the unfinished distribution of land and do this for free for the landless and poor farmers, farm workers, and fisherfolk, with just compensation to owners.
Also agreed on was a joint interim ceasefire between the military and the New People’s Army.
Sison, who sought long years of political asylum in Utrecht, The Netherlands, was hospitalized in January, causing him to miss the third round of peace talks in Rome, Italy.