By Francis Wakefield
The spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it is important to declare the New People’s Army (NPA) as a terrorist group to finally erase their image that they are fighting for the country.
AFP spokesman and concurrent Civil Relations Service (CRS) chief Brig. Gen. Bienvinido Datuin, made the remark after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed on Wednesday before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) a proscription seeking to declare as terrorists the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Mahalaga na madeklarang terorista ang NPA, upang lubusan ng maalis sa kantila ang imaheng pagkukunwari, na sila ang tunay na nakikipaglaban para sa bayan (It’s important to declare the NPA as terrorist to finally remove from them the image of pretending they are fighting for our country),” Datuin
“Sa pagiging terorista, sila na ngayon ay kahanay ng mga grupong Abu Sayyaf at Maute (For being a terrorist, they are now on the same level of the Abu Sayyaf Group and Maute),” he added.
Datuin said that in the past months, the people are witness to their actions similar to what terrorist groups are doing like kidnapping, killing of innocent civilians, burning of properties and extortion activities.
He said if they (NPA) are formally declared a terror group, even their known supporters will also be held accountable under Republic Act 10168 or the Terrorism Financing and Suppression Act of 2012.
“Kaya ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas ay nananawagan sa mga natitirang NPA sa kabundukan, na panahon na upang talikuran ang armadong pakikipaglaban, at magbalik loob na sa pamahalaan. Ang gobyerno ay handang tumulong upang makapagbagong buhay ang magbabalik loob (That is why the Armed Forces of the Philippines is appealing to the remaining NPA in the mountains that it’s time to turn their back on the armed struggle and return to the government fold. Government is ready to help them return to their normal lives),” he said.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong earlier said they already filed a petition to declare the CPP and the NPA as terrorist organizations, associations pursuant to Section 17 of the Human Security Act.
Once the court grants the petition, Ong said “the government can now wiretap their communication system.
Aside 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.”