The US used "terrorist-listing" as a way to influence the peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH)
Confidential and secret cables released by Wikileaks from the US embassies in Manila and The Hague in the Netherlands show how three governments worked together to designate as “terrorist” Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in peace talks with the Manila government. The move may have been part of Philippine government’s pressure tactics on the NDFP during peace negotiations. However, the move did not yield the Philippine government’s desired results.
Sison, the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army were included in the US terror list in August 2002, right after the Manila visit of then Secretary of State Colin Powell. Sison was soon after also included on the EU “terrorist list” of organizations and individuals with sanctions upon the requests of the US and PH governments. His bank account was subsequently frozen, denying him social benefits accorded to refugees living in the Netherlands.
Terrorist-listing as leverage
The US, Dutch and Philippine governments engaged in acts that were inimical to the peace talks between the NDFP and the Philippine government. The Philippine government used the terrorist listing as leverage against the NDFP. There was intense pressure was brought to bear on Sison: from the deprivation of social benefits, threats to his life, and even arrest and detention. The matter of the terrorist listing became a prejudicial question in the peace talks.
In a 2005 meeting (05MANILA655) with US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said that the NPA’s “delisting as a foreign terrorist organization depended on a demonstration or proof of sincerity… such as entering into a cease-fire or new peace talks.”