By Jeffrey Damicog
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the government will push to have the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), declared as terrorists.
“We will continue with our petition in the court, unless and until the President and the government peace panel direct us otherwise,” the secretary said today (June 2).
Aside from this, Guevarra said the DOJ has asked the courts to have National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants and CPP leaders returned to jail after being granted bail to participate in peace talks in June which did not push through.
On February 21, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) a proscription seeking to declare as terrorists the CPP-NPA.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong who filed the petition explained once the court grants the proscription “the government can now wiretap their communication system.”
He said the government can also look into bank accounts of the organizations and its members as well as “freeze and sequester their assets.”
“So may effect na siya mismo diyan sa batas na yan (So it has effects under the law): wire tapping, bank surveillance, freezing/sequestration of assets,” he had said.
The proscription was sought after President Rodrigo Duterte in December 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.
Guevarra had considered withdrawing the proscription before the RTC after Duterte declared in April to have another go at the peace talks.