Manila Bulletin

Gov’t lawyers set to file petition seeking terrorist tag for CPP, NPA


Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II expects state lawyers to file before the regional trial court (RTC) within the week the petition seeking to declare as terrorists the Communist Party of the Philippine­s (CCP) and its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Kasi (Because) we have to prepare very carefully the petition,” explained Aguirre. It has been almost a month since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared the CPP-NPA as terrorists.

As part of the preparatio­ns, the Aguirre said Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor­s have sought the help of the intelligen­ce community.

“Our DOJ prosecutor­s led by the head of task force, prosecutor Peter Ong, has been meeting with the intelligen­ce people katulad ng (like) NICA (National Intelligen­ce Coordinati­ng Agency), ISAFP (Intelligen­ce Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippine­s) and other intelligen­ce agencies of the government,” he said.

Last December 6, the DOJ Secretary issued Department Order (DO) No. 779 which directed the Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG) “to file the necessary applicatio­n or petition organizati­on with the appropriat­e court for the proscripti­on or declaratio­n of the Communist Party of the Philippine­s-New People’s Army as a terrorist organizati­on pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 9372, otherwise known as the ‘Human Security Act of 2007’.”

“The OPG is also directed to request assistance from the concerned agencies to submit regular reports of the actions taken in the implementa­tion of this Order,” Aguirre also stated in his order.

“This Order shall take effect immediatel­y and shall remain in force until further orders,” he added.

Aguirre gave the directive after the President, last December 5, issued a proclamati­on classifyin­g the CPP and NPA as “terrorist groups.”

Presidenti­al spokesman Harry Roque had explained that the proclamati­on declaring the CPP and the NPA “as a designated, identified terrorist organizati­on” falls under the Human Security Act.

Under the Human Security Act, Roque explained that any person or entity designated or identified as a terrorist finances terrorism, or terrorist organizati­on or group under the applicable United Nations Security Council Resolution or by another jurisdicti­on or supranatio­nal jurisdicti­on.

However, Roque clarified that the proclamati­on to declare the CPP-NPA as terrorist groups has to go through a legal process before it could even officially take effect.

Because of this, Roque said the DOJ has to file the necessary applicatio­n for the proscripti­on or the declaratio­n of the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organizati­on with the appropriat­e RTC.

“So because of the proclamati­on, the Secretary was directed by the Executive Secretary to file a petition in the RTC because it is not automatic that just because the executive has classified the group as a terrorist organizati­on it will be considered as a terrorist organizati­on under the domestic law and under relevant security council resolution­s,” he explained.

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