Philippine government declares CPP-NPA a terrorist group

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte does a test fire on one of the sniper rifles donated by the Chinese government his visit at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City last Novemner. FIle Photo: SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY— Fed up and frustrated over series of violations while the peace talks was on going, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed component the New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA) a terrorist organization.

The declaration stemmed from the series of violations committed by the armed group wile the peace talks was on going and was further aggravated by the death of a 4-month-old baby on November 9, 2017 in Talakag Bukidnon after the rebels ambushed policemen in the area.

Citing provisions under Republic Act No. 10168, otherwise known as  “The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012,” terrorism has been recognized as inimical and dangerous to the country’s national security.  Terrorism is, thus, condemned, including those who support and finance acts of terrorism.

FATAL BLOW, a mother cuddles her lifeless baby who was hit while the NPA rebels ambushed policemen in Talakag Bukidnon.-Sourced photo

The same Republic Act further criminalizes the financing of terrorism.  In particular, it freezes and forfeits the property or funds of those designated terrorists or terrorist organizations.  This is done in order to prevent and suppress terrorist activities.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said Duterte signed the proclamation declaring the CPP-NPA as a terror organization Tuesday, December 5, 2017.

Roque said Duterte also ordered Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to immediately file a petition at the Manila Regional Trial Court to classify the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group under the Human Security Act.

He added Aguirre was directed to file the petition at the RTC because it was not automatic that the CPP-NPA would be considered a terrorist organization under domestic laws.

The President recently terminated talks with the NDFP amid continued rebel attacks.

“I don’t want to start a real violent war, but if the NPAs, just like the terrorists, would do it, then we will give them the favor,” Duterte said.

The President also recently ordered NDFP consultants who were given conditional freedom to participate in the peace talks to “surrender or face punitive actions.”

President Rodrigo Duterte acting like hostage with the young NPA rebels in the village of Batang, North Cotabato in February 2016. File Photo/newsline.ph

Hope was high that the elusive peace will be achieved when Duterte assumed power as he admitted being friends with the communist and was once a member of leftist group Bayan while in college, but when the government noticed series of attacks while the talk was on going Duterte issued a warning but still ambush and attacks continue which led to the eventual termination of the talks.

Duterte repeatedly cited insincerity from the end of the reel group saying his good intent and gesture of goodwill was never reciprocated.

Insurgency problem has been here for the last five decades while CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison remain in exile in the Netherlands.

Since the collapse of talks, various skirmishes had occurred between state forces and communist guerrillas.

One of the biggest clashes occurred in Nasugbu, Batangas last week which resulted in the killing of 14 suspected NPA rebels.

Declaring the CPP-NPA as a designated /identified terrorist organization is nothing new.   

“On August 9, 2002, the United States of America (USA) has designated the CPP-NPA as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) and to date continues to include the CPP-NPA in its list of FTOs,” the Proclamation cited. 

In this regard, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been directed to publish the designation/identification of the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.

Also, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, in a memorandum, directed Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, to immediately file the necessary application for the proscription or declaration of the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization with the appropriate Regional Trial Court.

The DOJ, the same memo adds, may request the assistance of the Department of National Defense (DND), the Armed Forces of the Philippines AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and other concerned agencies to execute the President’s directive.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph