Gov’t to ask court to legally declare Reds as terrorist groups
The government will soon file a petition in court to legally declare as terrorist groups the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Thursday.
“Hopefully in the coming week it will be filed because meron palang last-minute consultation with the Office of the Executive Secretary as well as other intelligence services of the government,” Aguirre said at a Palace briefing.
Under Section 17 of Republic Act No. 9372, or the Human Security Act of 2007, the Department of Justice must first seek clearance from the court before an organization, association or group of persons could be declared a terrorist.
Asked about his expectations of the government’s move, Aguirre said he would expect a “full-blown trial.”
“It is a full-blown trial, I believe. That’s why hindi pwede [minamadali], hindi pwede madaliin. They have to gather all the instances where terroristic activities could be attributed to the NPAs,” he said.
The NPA, he said, would probably challenge this move by the government.
“I believe so. Kasi ayaw nilang masabihan silang they are engaged in terrorism,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte on December 5 signed Proclamation Order No. 374. declaring the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations.
Duterte said he wanted to declare the communist guerillas as terrorists due to their continued attacks on government troops and even civilians.
“Before, we recognized them as legitimate rebels. But with their continued depredations, killing innocent people even an infant 4 months old, I’ll be issuing a proclamation. I will remove them from the category of a legal entity, or at least a semi-movement which would merit our attention, placing the—same as America—terrorists,” he said in November.
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