Friday, August 31, 2007

Dutch travel ban to the Philippines

Due to the heat (and maybe hate?) -- the rallies and protests in support of Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, ex leader and founder of the CPP-NPA (in short ex-communist leader of the Philippines), who was exiled in the Netherlands and lived in Utrecht, and was arrested last Tuesday to face criminal charges of murders in the Philippines, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Dutch) has announced a travel ban for Dutch citizens traveling to the Philippines.

Snip in today’s (31 August) Spits, a local metro/train gratis publication in the Netherlands.

My first reaction was, “Huh, a travel ban?”

Dutchman’s reaction was, “Yeah!” and grinning so wide his eyes thinned that they looked like Chinese. Obviously he did not take his governments’ warning seriously.

Me again: Oh my dear lord - a travel ban!? LOL! And I will say it again, LOL!

If you don’t know what LOL means, it’s LAUGHING OUT LOUD.

The Dutchman could not stop grinning (mischievously).

Without having to sound like Miss South Carolina - Yes the Philippines is on the news map again. And no, the Philippines is no Iraq.

Of the almost 90 million residents, about 18 million of them in Manila, the .000019%* communist comrades of Joma who are camping outside the Dutch embassy in Manila and screaming non-stop for the release of their founder, are but a few fishes in the ocean.

If only they knew the real psyche of the Filipinos. They are cowards to violence. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joma’s followers will use some kind of borrowed people power, their own version of course.

But, I mean, wow... the .000019%* Filipino population constitutes a damn travel ban? What a feat! Congratulations!!!

Okay, it’s not really a travel ban notice per se, but the government has strongly advised Dutch citizens NOT to travel to the Philippines. In Philippine local lingo, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is OA – Overacting, lol.

You can find the official (English) press releases of the Dutch Ministry of Justice about the Jose Maria Sison case below.

Friday, 31 August 2007:

Philippine Communist Leader Remains in Custody

Tuesday, 28 August 2007:
Philippine Communist Leader Apprehended to Face a Murder Charge

Under Dutch law and jurisdiction, if an individual is indicted for plotting crimes in the Netherlands, even if the crime happened in another country (in this case the Philippines), arraignment will be in Dutch soil, thus Joma will be tried in Dutch courts in The Hague.

On the other hand, knowing how the justice system works here in the Netherlands – they will NEVER send back (extradition, and not just for the lack of laws on this between NL and PH) a political asylum seeker, even if he is a convicted criminal to his country of origin if this will cost him his life. The Netherlands also do NOT advocate death sentence. Human rights and equality is a very serious topic in this country, even for criminals.

Joma has been living in the Netherlands since 1987.

Other related news from the Philippines: Philippine Daily Inquirer Special Report: Joma Sison, Manila Standard Today - Netherlands shuts down embassy as precaution

News in the Netherlands (in Dutch): NRC - Onrust Filippijnen door aanhouding Sison, Volkskrant - NCPN eist vrijlating van JoMa Sison, AD - Oppositieleider in Utrecht opgepakt and articles in Telegraaf about the Sison case.

*this is by no means the correct figure but if you have common sense and enjoy a little bit of sarcasm you know what I mean.

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