Amid calls to expunge SC testimony, Esperon says list of 'terrorist' orgs has basis


Posted at May 15 2021 03:55 PM | Updated as of May 15 2021 06:23 PM

MANILA - National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon on Saturday maintained that the list he used to label some organizations as terrorists right in front of Supreme Court magistrates at recent proceedings was done with "sufficient" research and basis. 

This, amid calls by petitioners against the Anti-Terrorism Act to expunge or throw out his testimony in the high court oral arguments, where Esperon played two videos of Communist Party of the Philippines’ founder Jose Maria Sison supposedly naming allied organizations. 

"Makakasiguro kayo na ang ating pagpapalabas ng listahan ay dumaan sa masusing pananaliksik (We can assure you that the release of the list underwent sufficient research)," Esperon said, claiming that the list was based on international listings. 

Esperon also told a public briefing the list was based on a 2017 declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte, in which he tagged the CPP and the New People’s Army as “terrorists.” The Anti-Terror Council, where Esperon is vice chair, had earlier filed a resolution echoing Duterte's statement. 

"Dahil sa dami ng kaso nila ay nalista sila pati sa ibang bansa at may proclamation si pangulo na terrorist sila noong 2017,” Esperon said. 

(With the number of cases against them, they are listed even in other countries and President Rodrigo Duterte has a proclamation declaring them as terrorists in 2017.) 

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Esperon, during Wednesday’s Supreme Court oral arguments on petitions against the anti-terror law, played two videos of Sison allegedly naming "allied organizations" who mobilized tens of millions to support the so-called national democratic revolution.

Names of the organizations will not be disclosed by ABS-CBN News, pending confirmation of any ties to the CPP-NPA or until they give their side.

Petitioners also questioned the use of the video, which they said was unauthorized and unauthenticated, and that he did not take his oath prior to his interpellation with the high court. 

Asked whether due process was violated, he answered: “Hindi violation 'yan (That is not a violation).” 

Sison had already said that the clip was “unauthenticated and obviously spliced."