Justice dept. wants CPP-NPA tagged 'terrorist org'

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2018 12:30 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2018 02:34 PM

MANILA - The Department of Justice filed Wednesday a petition before the Manila Regional Trial Court to cite the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army as terrorist organizations.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong filed the proscription petition in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order.

12 “terror activities” and “atrocities” perpetrated by the CPP-NPA in Negros Occiental and Oriental, Surigao, Misamis, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City and Davao were cited in the petition, among the recent ambush incidents on government troops in various parts of the country.

The order to formally declare the CPP-NPA as terrorist organization came in the wake of the collapse of peace talks between the Reds and government, as government slammed the groups for its attacks despite the ongoing talks.

President Duterte signed Proclamation No. 360 on November 23, 2017, declaring the termination of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front-CPP-NPA.

“[I]n spite of the best efforts exerted by this administration, the NDF-CPP-NPA failed to show its sincerity and commitment in pursuing genuine and meaningful peace negotiations as it engaged in acts of violence and hostilities endangering the lives and properties of innocent people,” the proclamation read.

On December 5, 2017, Mr. Duterte issued Proclamation No. 374, declaring the CPP and NPA as terrorist organizations under RA No. 10168, also known as The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppresion Act of 2012.

Should the proscription petition be granted by the court, it will have the consequence of allowing government to seek the permission of the Court of Appeals (CA) to engage in wiretapping activities against the communists, as well as apply for a freeze order on, and examination of, the bank accounts and assets of their financiers, leaders, and identified members.

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate said the filing of the petition will only lead to the commission of human rights abuses by state forces.

“And real target nila ay young alleged support structures. Ito ay magbubunsod ng malawakan na naming paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa mga kritiko ng administrasyong ito,” Zarate said, in a statement.