National Security Council to respect Manila court decision on CPP-NPA

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2022 07:25 AM

MANILA - The National Security Council will respect the decision of the Manila Regional Trial Court that junked the Philippine government’s petition to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations. 

In the said ruling, the court stressed that rebellion and political acts are not acts of terrorism, and warned that red-tagging poses a threat to the security of activists.

“Of course, the NSC will respect the decision of the said regional trial court because it is a co-equal but separate agency in the government,” NSC’s budget sponsor at the House of Representatives," Negros Occidental 6th District Rep. Mercedes Alvarez said.

ACT Teachers Party List Rep. France Castro, however, said it is difficult to reconcile this with the recent statement of National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos that she is willing to change her position on institutionalizing the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Last June, Carlos said she hoped the NTF-ELCAC would stop red-tagging individuals and instead focus on actually helping people on the ground.

“Sinasabi ng NSC na gagalangin ang desisyon ng korte, pero sa kabilang banda, ay sinasabi rin ng NSC na ok sila sa pag-i-institutionalize ng red-tagging agency tulad ng NTF-ELCAC,” Castro asked.

“We respect the decision of the regional trial court … But again, the government has no policy that aims to red-tag any individual or any group. If ever the NSC has changed its mind to institutionalize the NTF-ELCAC, it’s merely the program that should be institutionalized, not the red-tagging,” Alvarez replied.

The House of Representatives terminated on Friday the debates on the proposed 2023 budget for the NSC.