Petition to declare CPP-NPA as terrorists remains on-track – DOJ

By Jeffrey Damicog

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has remained on-track in seeking court approval to declare as terrorists the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA).

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong made the assurance after Sen. Panfilo Lacson called on the DOJ to follow up with the judiciary the proscription seeking to declare the CPP-NPA as terrorists.

“There are developments,” said Ong, who was the lead prosecutor in the prosecution of Lacson for the killing of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000. The senator was already cleared of the charges.

On the other hand, Ong declined to give the details of the legal moves he has undertaken before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 19.

Ong had filed the petition seeking for a proscription with the Manila RTC last February 21, 2018.

The petition was filed after President Rodrigo Duterte, on December 2017, proclaimed the CPP-NPA as terrorists following continued attacks against government forces despite the government’s efforts to reach out to communist rebels for peace talks.

“Duterte extended his hands to a lasting peace pero viniolate nila yan (but they violated it), said Ong back in February.

Once the court grants the petition, Ong explained “the government can now wiretap their communication system.”

Apart from this, he said the government can also look into bank accounts of the organizations and its members as well as “freeze and sequester their assets.”