Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley defends historian Joseph Scalice

14 October 2020

The faculty of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley has issued a statement defending historian Dr. Joseph Scalice against the Stalinist slanders of Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Sison claimed that Scalice was “a CIA agent” after he delivered a lecture in August at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore detailing the CPP’s support for the authoritarian Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The statement below was posted on Scalice’s Facebook page.

Dr. Joseph Scalice

The faculty of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies have published the following letter defending my scholarship against Sison's harassment and slander. I am profoundly grateful for this act of solidarity and support.

As faculty of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley, we write to affirm the intellectual excellence and high character of our former Ph.D. student and Lecturer Joseph Scalice, and to denounce recent baseless accusations against him.

In the August 25, 2020 issue of Ang Bayan, and in repeated Facebook posts, Jose Maria Sison has described Scalice as a CIA agent. On September 22, Sison claimed that “all Berkeley” knew that the CIA funded Scalice’s research and publications.

We at Berkeley know nothing of the sort. We reject these malicious, reckless and unfounded allegations.

Scalice, a former Fulbright scholar, is a talented historian whose analysis has transformed understandings of the history of communism in the Philippines. An award-winning teacher, Scalice’s generosity of spirit and his commitment to sharing his deep knowledge of the Philippines, has further transformed the lives of countless students in our Southeast Asian Studies Program.

We stand with Joseph Scalice.


* Jacob Dalton, Khyentse Foundation Distinguished University Professor in Tibetan Buddhism

* Penelope Edwards, Associate Professor

* Munis Faruqui, Associate Professor

* Robert Goldman, Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor of Sanskrit

* Alexander von Rospatt, Professor

* Peter Zinoman, Professor


The author also recommends:

Watch: Lecture exposes role of Communist Party of the Philippines in propping up Duterte regime
[27 August 2020]