MANILA, Philippines — Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison accused presidential spokesman Harry Roque and a pro-Duterte group of “spreading the fake news that I have become a Dutch citizen.”
Sison, in a statement, pointed to a four-minute video posted on social media by a group called “Ambag Bayan” that loops a segment of an interview Roque gave about a month ago.
“I do not know the status of Joma (Sison) because Joma … I understand, has taken Dutch citizenship, he’s a foreign national,” Roque says in the video in response to a question about what would happen to Sison with President Rodrigo Duterte’s designation of the CPP and New People’s Army as “terrorist organizations” through Proclamation 374.
Embedded in the video are photos of Sison with various women.
Sison, who has been living in exile in The Netherlands for decades, said the Ambag Bayan video was similar to earlier disinformation on his supposed arrest by Dutch authorities soon after Duterte issued Proclamation 374. The disinformation actually rehashed Sison’s arrest in August 2007 for his supposed involvement in assassinations in the Philippines.
“I have never applied for Dutch citizenship and have never been naturalized as a Dutch citizen,” Sison said in response to the Ambag Bayan video.
“In fact, my actual residence in The Netherlands is in accordance with my being a recognized political refugee since 1992 and also in accordance with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. I can travel for the purpose of peace negotiations under a laissez passer (travel document) without having to be a Dutch citizen,” he added.
As for the photos, Sison said these were taken “over a period of two decades … during happy public occasions in which I and the other persons (overseas Filipino workers, academics and TV entertainment personalities) are properly dressed and behave in a friendly way towards each other.”
He claimed “the objective of the Duterte propaganda machine in spreading fake news” against him and other prominent activists “is to deflect attention from the monstrous crimes of Duterte and his regime: the extrajudicial killing of more than 16,000 poor people suspected or falsely accused of being drug users and pushers, drug smuggling and distribution by the drug lords aligned with Duterte, the destruction of Marawi city by bombing and artillery fire, the scheme of martial rule and fascist dictatorship under the pretext of establishing a federal form of government, the sell-out of Philippine natural resources in the hinterlands and under the West Philippine Sea to foreign interests, colossal pork barrel corruption, excessive foreign borrowing and higher taxes that are now raising the prices of basic goods and services far beyond the means of 90 per cent of the people.”