CPP lauds court ruling vs terrorist tag; NTF-ELCAC sticks with stance

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2022 06:47 PM

AFP
This photo taken on July 30, 2017 shows Ka Kathryn, a 25-year-old from a middle-class family, who is a guerrilla of the New People's Army (NPA) in the Sierra Madre mountain range, located east of Manila. Fueled by one of the world's starkest rich-poor divides, a Maoist rebellion that began months before the first human landed on the moon plods on even though the country now boasts one of the world's fastest-growing economies. Noel Celis, AFP

MANILA - The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Thursday lauded the ruling of a Manila court rejecting the government's position that they are a "terrorist" organization, saying the judge's decision is "reasonable and fair."

"We found the 135-page decision penned by Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar reasonable and fair. We see that the judge took a historical point-of-view and situated the revolutionary movement from the perspective of the Filipino people’s struggle against oppression and exploitation," CPP's chief information officer Marco Valbuena said.

Magdoza-Malagar said that the CPP-NPA (New People's Army) was not organized for the purpose of engaging in terrorism, and that "armed struggle" is only a "means" to achieve the CPP's purpose and not the "purpose of the creation of the CPP."

"We urge everyone, lawyers, judges, academics, teachers, students, journalists, workers, peasants and all other sectors, to follow the example of Judge Malagar and read and study for yourselves the constitution and program of the CPP," Valbuena said.

The Philippine government filed the proscription case against the two rebel groups in 2018, under the provisions of the Human Security Act of 2007 (Republic Act No. 9372), which was eventually repealed by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (Republic Act No. 11479).

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For the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Magdoza-Malagar's ruling is ironic.

"Even the international community made a strong stand against the CPP as a foreign terrorist organization. That's the funny part, we are here in the Philippines telling that the CPP-NPA is not a terrorist organization while in fact the other international committees have already made a strong position they are a terrorist group," NTF-ELCAC executive director Emmanuel Salamat said.

Salamat said despite the ruling, they still maintain the CPP-NPA is a "terrorist group."

"We have always proved in the NTF that the CPP-NPA is sill organized as for the purpose of sowing terror and still commits acts of terrorism," he said.

Salamat added that the legal development would not affect their mandate against the communist insurgency.

"We will just continue our efforts in raising high level of awareness in our community, to our vulnerable sector, to our youth and laborers, telling them how deceptive these organizations [are]," he said.

The NTF-ELCAC will discuss their next moves regarding the court's ruling, Salamat added.

The Manila court ruling was promulgated on Wednesday, Sept. 21, the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.

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