Human rights group slams DOJ’s ‘severely defective’ list of ‘terrorists’
A human rights group condemned on Friday the petition of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that seeks to declare over 600 individuals as “terrorists” for supposedly being members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA).
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said the list targets government critics and human rights defenders, and aims to sow fear among them.
“There is no doubt that the filing of the petition is an effort to sow fear and panic among Duterte’s detractors, subjectively prepare the public for more intense political repression, and be the front act of a crackdown against the dictator wannabe’s critics,” Palabay said in a statement.
In a 55-page petition for proscription filed on February 21, the DOJ urged Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 19 to declare the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations. The petition has also enumerated a list of individuals, who are alleged leaders of the CPP-NPA’s various committees.
The list included CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, alleged ranking CPP leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, and National Democratic Front (NDF) peace negotiators Luis Jalandoni, Coni Ledesma, Randall Echanis, and Rafael Baylosis, who is currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
It likewise tagged UN special rapporteur for the rights of indigenous people Victoria Tauli-Corpuz as a member of the CPP’s Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC).
The list further named former Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, and Ilocos environmental activist Sherwin de Vera, who was likewise tagged as a member of the ICRC.
According to Palabay, the list submitted by the DOJ in court suspiciously included several others who were already dead and missing.
Palabay also said the list included seven other members of paramilitary units accused of killing Lumads in Mindanao, including four from the New Indigenous Peoples’ Army (NIPAR), led by Alde “Butchoy” Salusad, who have standing warrants for the killing of Lumad leader Datu Jimmy Liguyon.
“They also have been presented and paid as surrenderees, consistent to their being all-purpose pawns in the military’s repressive schemes,” Palabay said.
The DOJ petition also named Elisa Tita Lubi, who is apparently Karapatan National Executive Committee member and former interim regional coordinator of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development.
Moreover, named in the list were Joan Carling, past Secretary General of the Asian Indigenous Peoples’ Pact and former member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Atty. Jose Molintas, former member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation; Sandugo Co-Chairperson Joanna Cariño; Cordillera People’s Alliance Chairperson Windel Bolinget; and at least 10 Lumad datu/leaders in Northern and Southern Mindanao.
“Even more unbelievable is the inclusion in the list of the names of the nine-member Karapatan quick reaction team arrested in November 2017 and HR defenders in Negros,” Palabay said.
She said that the list is “severely defective as it contains scores of aliases, John and Jane Does so any person can be added later.” /kga
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