Court grants DOJ plea to declare CPP, NPA as terror groups

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    A MANILA court has granted the petition of the Department of Justice seeking to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, as terrorist organizations.

    Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento yesterday said Manila RTC Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar granted the motion for reconsideration in a decision on February 7.

    “Finding the grounds stated in the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration meritorious and in the higher interest of justice and considering that the petitioner has also shown before the court its readiness to serve summons to respondents by publication, the same is hereby granted,” the court said.

    The court dismissed the DOJ petition on December 19 for the prosecution’s failure to serve summons to the respondents by way of publication.

    Malcontento said the prosecution has complied with the court’s order with the publication of the summons before the tabloid People’s Tonight last Saturday.

    It will be recalled that the DOJ filed the petition to declare the CPP and NPA as terrorist organizations in 2017 after President Duterte decided to end peace talks with the communists and issued a proclamation declaring them as terrorist organizations.

    The petition was in compliance with the provision of the Human Security Act of 2007 which requires the DOJ to file a petition before the court, before an organization, group or association could be declared as terrorist entities.

    The DOJ cited as reason for the petition numerous “terroristic activities” by the NPA, including ambuscades and killings of military and police personnel.

    It also named 649 individuals, including CPP founder Jose Maria Sison as terrorists but it later cut down the list to just eight, including Sison and other top CPP-NPA leaders.