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DOJ files formal petition tagging CPP, NPA as terror groups

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday filed a 55-page petition declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as terrorist groups.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong asked the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to issue an order declaring the CPP and the NPA as terrorist and outlawed organizations under Section 17 of Republic Act No. 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007.

Ong said the petition was anchored on two grounds: the organization, association or group of persons was organized for the purpose of engaging in terrorism, and these groups commit acts of terrorism s

The petition said the CPP-NPA is just buying time by deceiving the government in entering into peace talks while their primary purpose is to mobilize their forces in preparation for a “people’s war” to overthrow the duly-constituted authorities, seizing control of the government and imposing a totalitarian regime.

Ong said the CPP-NPA also committed acts of terrorism such as murder, kidnapping, arson and other activities to sow terror and panic.

“There is no other time to put an end to their deception, to their protracted people’s war and to their evil plan of imposing a totalitarian regime, but through the filing of this petition and, consequently, by declaring respondents CPP-NPA as terrorist and outlawed organizations, associations and or group of persons,” the petition said.

In 2017 alone, Ong said 12 incidents, including ambushes, were conducted by the NPA which targetted targeting soldiers and policemen in various parts of the country.

Among these were the ambush of four policemen and members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives in Bansalan, Davao del Sur in March 2017 and a team of Army personnel conducting humanitarian operations in Catubig, Northern Samar.

The Bansalan ambush resulted in the killing of four policemen while another was injured.

On the other hand, a soldier was killed, and another was wounded in the Catubig ambush while they were on their way to deliver relief supplies to residents affected by typhoon Urduja last December.

The petition also listed ‘terror activities” and “atrocities” conducted by the NPA in Negros Occidental and Oriental, Surigao, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City and Davao.

Once the petition is granted by the court,  the government may seek the permission of the Court of Appeals to engage in wiretapping activities against the suspects and apply for a freeze order on bank accounts and assets of their financiers, leaders, and identified members.

As to why the National Democratic Front was not included, Ong said the order issued by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to him was only for the CPP-NPA, adding it was also the same guidance issued by Aguirre to the Prosecutor General.

Ong said the filing of petition came after President Rodrigo  Duterte’s decision to issue a proclamation naming the CPP-NPA as a terror group. #