National Democratic Front of the Philippines Seeks Help from the Norwegian Government

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has sought the assistance of the Norwegian government to recover all items that were confiscated by the Dutch police during the raid at the office of the rebel group in Utrecht, the Netherlands last month. Norway is the third party facilitator in the peace talks between the NDFP and Philippine government.
Fidel Agcaoili, chairman of the NDFP-Monitoring Committee, sent a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and requested help to recover the seized documents and computer disks from the Dutch police.
“We opted to inform Norway of what happened because it stands as the third party facilitator in the peace negotiations and has been the main supporter of the work of the Joint Monitoring Committee of which the NDFP is a part,” Agcaoili explained in a statement.
Dutch policemen arrested communist party founder and NDFP chief political consultant Jose Ma. Sison last Aug. 28 after the communist leader was accused of ordering the killings of two renegade communist rebel leaders in the Philippines.
The Dutch police also raided the office of the NDFP as well as the houses of Luis Jalandoni and Connie Ledesma, NDFP negotiating panel chairperson; Juliet de Lima, panel member; Dan Borjal, political consultant; Ruth de Leon, head of the panel secretariat; and Aldo Gonzalez and Joselito Baleva, volunteers in the NDFP international office.
Citing reports, Agcaoili said the NDFP personnel were “brusquely interrogated and forbidden from moving around their homes while the rest of the premises were being ransacked.”
All computers, laptops, external disks, USB sticks, CDs, diskettes, cameras and MP3 players were seized, along with voluminous documents and papers including Jalandoni’s complete files on the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations from 1986 to the end of 2004.
Agcaoili said that the room that he uses whenever he is in the Netherlands was also “broken into, ransacked, and its contents pillaged.”
The documents confiscated from his room included the complete set of complaint forms submitted to the Joint Monitoring Committee against the NDFP and the GRP and written communications between the NDFP staff pertaining to the peace negotiations, Agcaoili said. But Agcaoili maintained that all the seized items have no connection whatsoever to the charge against Sison.
He said the Dutch prosecutors went on a fishing expedition when it authorized the raids of the NDFP office and the houses of the NDFP staff.
Sison was later ordered released by the Dutch court last Sept. 13 after more than two weeks of detention on suspicion that he ordered the murders of former comrades Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in the Philippines.
Kintanar, a former leader of the New People’s Army, was murdered in Quezon City on Jan. 23, 2003 while Tabara, another top NPA official, was assassinated along with his son-in-law Stephen Ong in Bicol on Sept. 26, 2004.
Agcaoili complained that the Dutch police’s raid was conducted without the residents being allowed to see the actual operations because they were made to stay in one place. None of the police showed any valid warrants.
He said the actions of the Dutch police have significantly disrupted the operations of the NDFP and expressed hope that the Dutch government would take recognition of the NDFP’s demand that all the confiscated materials be immediately returned.

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