The Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) will continue to be relentless in its operations against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), despite a Manila court’s denial of a petition for proscription that would have declared the communist rebel groups as terrorist organizations.
Col. Medel Aguilar, acting AFP spokesperson, said the Department of Justice (DOJ) will file a motion for reconsideration (MR) to appeal the ruling of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 which junked the DOJ petition filed in 2018.
“Our operations against these threat groups, which continue to gain grounds, are not affected,” Aguilar said on Friday, Sept. 23.
Since the DOJ will file an MR, Aguilar said that the decision of the Manila RTC Branch 19 “is not yet final.”
“Our lawyers clarified that the designation of the CPP, NPA, and NDF [National Democratic Front] as terrorist organizations under ATA 2020 [Anti-Terrorism Act] remains in effect,” he added.
This, Aguilar said, would “significantly reduce” the capability of the CPP-NPA-NDF to “recruit new members and mount hostile actions or acts of terror.”
Meanwhile, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Executive Director Emmanuel Salamat said the government’s anti-communist insurgency group was “saddened” by the Manila court’s decision.
“[It] runs counter to the decision of the President [Marcos Jr.] and even on the stand of the international community making a strong stand against the CPP-NPA as a foreign terrorist group,” said Salamat, a retired Marine lieutenant general.
“Over the past 50 years, we have testaments of terrorism, violence, and murder associated with regards of the CPP-NPA-NDF. Mababaliwala ang mga paghihirap ng mga sundalo natin, ng mga frontliners natin sa field, mga heroes natin na nagbuwis ng buhay to once and for all end the local communist armed conflict (The sacrifices of our soldiers, our frontliners on the field, our heroes who gave their lives to once and for all end the local communist armed conflict will go to waste),” he added.