MANILA, Philippines – Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison has called out Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque for spreading "fake news" that he has become a Dutch citizen after decades of exile in The Netherlands.
The 77-year-old Sison accused the government of targeting him, former Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casiño, and Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. (READ: Renato Reyes slams fake news on son's 'sports car crash')
"I have never applied for Dutch citizenship and have never been naturalized as a Dutch citizen. The legitimate mass media or any respectable person can verify this fact from the Dutch authorities in The Hague or the Dutch embassy in Manila," Sison said in a statement this week.
Sison fled to Europe after peace talks with the administration of Corazon Aquino failed in 1987. The Netherlands eventually granted Sison political refugee status.
"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 without having to be a Dutch citizen," Sison said.
Roque made the statement on Sison's supposed Dutch citizenship in December last year.
Sison made the clarification after a video of his interview spread on Facebook spliced with photographs showing Sison with female companions like former sexy starlet Ara Mina.
"It is exceedingly impertinent for my detractors in the Duterte regime to include in the film clip in my photos with various beautiful persons over a period of two decades. These photos have been taken 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," said Sison.
Sison had hoped to end his exile under President Rodrigo Duterte but the negotiations collapsed last year. In December last year, Duterte signed a proclamation declaring the CPP-New People's Army as a terrorist organization. (READ: PH military vows to reduce by half NPA's 3,700 fighters)
The NPA and its so-called "support groups" were included as new targets in Malacañang's request to Congress for a one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao, although a military document shows the communist armed group was a target from the beginning. – Rappler.com