“I am Saturnino Ocampo. Journalist. I am not a terrorist,” Ocampo said in his motion to dismiss the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s petition dated March 20 before the Manila RTC Branch 19. A copy of the motion was made available to the media by Ocampo’s lawyer on Wednesday night.  KrizJohn Rosales
 

Satur: I’m a journalist, not a terrorist
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - March 23, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Journalist-turned-activist Satur Ocampo has asked the Manila regional trial court (RTC) to dismiss a petition seeking to declare him as a terrorist, saying there was no evidence that would prove he was a high-ranking officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).

“I am Saturnino Ocampo. Journalist. I am not a terrorist,” Ocampo said in his motion to dismiss the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s petition dated March 20 before the Manila RTC Branch 19. A copy of the motion was made available to the media by Ocampo’s lawyer on Wednesday night.

Aside from Ocampo, among the nearly 600 persons in the DOJ’s list of alleged terrorists are CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, at least 46 human rights defenders, and even United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and four former priests.

In his motion, Ocampo denied being an officer of the communist group and stressed the terrorist tag against him was used “to stigmatize and vilify” him, a “journalist of long standing and a former popularly elected member of the House of Representatives.”

Ocampo said those who tagged him as alleged communist leader did not have personal knowledge of the matter and that there had been no cause of action against him as a supposed member of the CPP central committee.

He said he was also not mentioned as one of the plotters of the alleged 12 terrorist attacks by the NPA against the government and businesses when the peace talks between the government and the communists were ongoing.

While the peace talks have been stalled, it resulted in “significant advances” for social and economic reforms, Ocampo said, adding that despite President Duterte’s cancellation of negotiations, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza expressed optimism they would resume.

“It is therefore highly ridiculous for petitioner to claim ‘deception’ on the part of the CPP-NPA, through the National Democratic Front, in having engaged the Philippine government in the long, off-and-on peace talks,” Ocampo said.

As to the allegation of the terrorist nature of rebels, Ocampo said the congressional deliberations on the Human Security Act, or the law passed to secure the state and protect the people from terrorism, would prove that legislators did not see rebellion – or the act of overthrowing a government – as a terrorist act.

Ocampo also faces multiple murder charges before the Manila RTC with Sison and other supposed communist officers in connection with the alleged 1980s purge of military spies following the discovery of a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte.

The DOJ sought the declaration of alleged communists as terrorists following the failed peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDF.

“It is clear that the CPP-NPA continue to commit acts of terror, by committing the predicate offenses of murder, kidnapping and arson, to sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace in order to coerce the Philippine government to give in to its unlawful demand – for the CPP-NPA to overthrow the duly constituted authorities and seize control of the Philippine government,” the petition read.

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES JOSE MARIA SISON NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY SATUR OCAMPO
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