A Manila Regional Trial Court ruled that United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Rafael Baylosis and human rights advocate Jose Melencio Molintas are “non-parties” to the Department of Justice proscription petition.
The STAR/KJ Rosales
Manila court declares Satur Ocampo, others ‘non-parties’ to terror petition
(Philstar.com) - August 8, 2018 - 5:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — Four individuals were cleared as “non-parties” to the government petition seeking to declare communist insurgents as “terrorists.”

A Manila Regional Trial Court ruled that United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Rafael Baylosis are “non-parties” to the Department of Justice proscription petition.

Human rights advocate Jose Melencio Molintas was also cleared from the DOJ petition.

DOJ, under former chief Vitaliano Aguirre II, sought to tag more than 600 people as “terrorists" under the Human Security Act of 2007 last February 21.

But Manila RTC Presiding Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar found “nothing” in the petition that pointed to Molintas and Corpuz as officers or representatives of Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, New People’s Army.  

“The petitioner cannot cavalierly dismiss their concern. It is undisputed that the inclusion of their names in the petition caused serious harm to their reputation,” the court said.

The court also noted that there was “nothing” in the petition that supported the accusation that Ocampo and Baylosis are incumbent officers, members or representatives of either the CPP or the NPA or that they have personal knowledge of, are engaged in, have committed or participated in, terrorist acts through the CPP-NPA.

“Neither Ocampo nor Baylosis can be considered a party-respondent in this petition since the remedy sought does not specifically pertain to them as individuals. Rather, it is the CPP and the NPA which are respondents because it is against them that the declaration is sought,” it said.

On the ground that they are “non-parties” to the petition, the summons issued to Ocampo and Baylosis have been canceled and recalled by the court.

The court, however, denied the motions of the two to dismiss the case.

DOJ secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said that the “real respondents” in the proscription case are the CPP and NPA.

“It is these entities, not the named individuals, who are the party-respondents in the petition to declare them as terrorist organizations,” Guevarra said.

Asked if DOJ will appeal the court’s resolution, he said they still have to study the impact of resolution.

The terrorist petition has been criticized for endangering the lives of the individuals included on the list. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

JOSE MELENCIO MOLINTAS RAFAEL BAYLOSIS SATUR OCAMPO VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZ
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