By Genalyn Kabiling
The government could run after the “legal fronts” of the communist rebels for “conspiracy” to commit rebellion or terrorism, a Palace official said today.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque however made clear that membership of some groups to the rebel alliance was not enough to charge them.
“The crackdown on the legal fronts would mean that this legal fronts are in conspiracy to commit the act of either rebellion or violations of the Human Security Act,” Roque said during a Palace news conference.
“Mere membership will not be actionable,” he said.
President Duterte earlier vowed to crush the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army and run after their legal fronts following the collapse of the peace talks.
Duterte also threatened to give rebel financiers “a hell of time,” saying the permits of mining companies paying revolutionary taxes to the communist rebels will be cancelled.
Roque said the President is aware that certain groups served as legal fronts of the CPP-NPA since he was a member of the Movement for Justice, the precursor of Karapatan group.
“If you look at the little red book and if you look at documents coming from Joma Sison, I think the tactic is also well spelled out. That they work in terms of actual individuals, taking up arms and through legal groups, acting as propaganda arms,” he said.
Asked if all groups allied with the CPP-NPA are considered targets, Roque said no group has confessed alliance with the rebels.
“In the first place wala namang umaamin sa kanila eh, iyon ang nakakabuwisit di ba. Umamin, paninindigan ang paniniwala kaso nga hindi naman nila inaamin (In the first place, no one has admitted anything. It’s annoying. Better confess, stand by your beliefs. But they have not made any admission yet),” he said.
“Again it will have to be on the basis of conspiracy, because mere membership is not actionable,” he added.