CPP won’t contest ‘terrorist’ tag by ATC — spokesman

Published December 27, 2020, 4:00 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) will not challenge its designation as a “terrorist organization” by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) since it does not recognize the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL) as a legitimate law, the Party’s spokesman bared Sunday.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The CPP Central Committee, through its chief information officer Marco Valbuena, said the Party, the New People’s Army (NPA), and the entire revolutionary movement are “outside the legal jurisdiction of the Philippine government [GRP].”

“The Party does not recognize the judicial authority of the GRP. Neither does the CPP recognize the Anti-Terrorism Law as a legitimate law,” Valbuena said in a statement.

The CPP spokesman said the CPP-NPA are instead “governed by the rules of the People’s Democratic Government (PDG) that the revolutionary movement is building.” He said their own rules have already been “established” in the 52-year revolutionary war that they have waged.

Through ATC Resolution No. 12, the Council tagged the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations last December 9 “for its acts of violence, various forms of deception, and multiple means of threatening persons and civilization.”

Under the Anti-Terrorism Law, a designated party may file a verified request for delisting before the ATC within 15 days from getting tagged. 

The grounds for delisting include:

-mistaken identity, 

-relevant and significant change of facts or circumstance, 

-newly discovered evidence, 

-death of designee, 

-dissolution or liquidation of designated organizations, associations, or groups, and

-proof that the basic for designation no longer exists.

The law states that the designation of an individual or organization as a “terrorist” will be valid for three years, after which, the ATC will subject it to a review.

But Valbuena said the CPP “does not allow itself to be put under the GRP’s laws and processes.”

Instead, the CPP suggested that legal experts and luminaries take independent action to question the ATC’s designation of the CPP as a “terrorist” organization.

“They can take this option as a first step to prevent the legal consequence of the CPP designation by the ATC against the people’s civil and political rights,” Valbuena said.

The constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Law is being questioned before the Supreme Court due to several “vague” provisions which, according to experts, may be used by the government to crack down on critics. 

Around 30 petitions were filed before the SC to challenge the ATL.

 
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