Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II also confirmed that CPP founding chair Jose Maria Sison, former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo and United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz are in the list of personalities the government has tagged as terrorists in a petition filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) last month.  Edd Gumban

Government stands firm on terrorist tag vs 600 New People’s Army members
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday stood firm in its bid to declare over 600 persons linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines and CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as terrorists.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II also confirmed that CPP founding chair Jose Maria Sison, former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo and United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz are in the list of personalities the government has tagged as terrorists in a petition filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) last month.

Also in the list are alleged CPP leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant Rafael Baylosis, former peace panel chief Luis Jalandoni, human rights lawyer and former Baguio City councilor Jose Molintas and Cordillerans Joanna Cariño, Windel Farag-ey Bolinget, Sherwin de Vera, Beverly Sakongan Longid and Jeannette Ribaya Cawiding, Aguirre added.

Aguirre stressed that the list was not “baseless and irresponsible” as claimed by Corpuz and he dared critics to just challenge the DOJ’s move before the court.

“This list is a product of research and evidence supplied by police authorities and intelligence agencies,” he told reporters at the DOJ.

“If they have evidence to the contrary, they should just answer the petition and the court will hear them. This case should not be tried through the media,” Aguirre stressed.

The DOJ chief explained that the petition was filed following the termination of peace talks between the government and the CPP.

Corpuz, a former chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, was named UN special rapporteur in 2014. She decried her inclusion in the list as “baseless, malicious and irresponsible.”

She founded the indigenous peoples advocacy and research group, Tebtebba Inc., and helped draft the Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the UN in 2007.

Ocampo, on the other hand, is facing murder charges in the Manila RTC for his alleged involvement in the murder of suspected military spies in the communist movement in the 1980s.

Baylosis, for his part, was ordered arrested last January over charges of illegal possession of firearms.

In its petition, the DOJ cited Republic Act 9372 (Human Security Act of 2007) in seeking the declaration of the CPP and NPA officials and members as terrorists.

The petition, signed by Senior Associate State Prosecutor Peter Ong, accused the CPP-NPA of having an “evil plan of imposing a totalitarian regime.”

“The CPP and NPA are merely buying time by deceiving the Philippine government in entering into peace talks, while their main purpose is to mobilize all their forces in preparation for the people’s war aimed at overthrowing the duly constituted authority, seizing control of the Philippine government and imposing a totalitarian regime,” the DOJ said in its petition.

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY
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