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Solons fear trumped-up charges vs leftists with CPP, NPA tagged as terrorists

/ 06:00 PM December 05, 2017
Antonio Tinio

Rep. Antonio Tinio of the Act Teachers party-list (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations will only “open the floodgates for a slew of trumped-up charges” against left-leaning groups and other critics of the government, a militant solon said on Tuesday.

Other militant lawmakers slammed the recent presidential proclamation tagging communist insurgents as terrorists.

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On Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque also announced that anyone proven to be financing these groups would be also held liable under the law.

“It’s telling that in announcing the proclamation, [Roque] referred not to the Human Security Act [RA 9372] but to the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 [RA 10168],” ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said in a statement.

“This indicates that the proclamation is not targeted primarily at the CPP-NPA, but will be used to go after legal left-wing organizations and individuals based on allegations that they are providing financial support to the CPP-NPA,” Tinio said.

“The proclamation will open the floodgates for a slew of trumped-up charges meant to harass, intimidate, jail, and silence the most steadfast critics of his tyrannical and anti-people regime,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rep. Ariel Casilao of the Anakpawis party-list maintained that CPP-NPA could not be considered a terror group as it “publicized what they want to achieve for the country, such as genuine land reform, nationalist industrialization, and freedom from foreign dictates.”

“Even President Duterte admitted that they are majorly composed of peasants who clamor for land, offered them land, jobs and housing, in exchange for their surrender,” Casilao said. /atm

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