The amended petition by the Department of Justice (DOJ) cutting down the list of communist "officers" it wants declared as terrorists is "groundless" "legal fiction," the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said Friday.
From more than 600, the number of alleged officers of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), has reportedly dropped to eight people, including founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, after the DOJ amended its petition for proscription.
President Rodrigo Duterte has proclaimed the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations, but the law requires the DOJ to petition a court to officially outlaw them, hence the pending application before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19.
Last year, the court declared former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosos, and ex-Baguio City councilor Jose Melencio Molintas as "non-parties" in the case.
In its new statement, the NDFP claimed the amended petition merely rehashed already "disproven" charges in cases that have already been dismissed or are being contested.
It also said there was no link between the alleged terrorist acts and the eight remaining alleged officers of the CPP and the NPA named in the petition.
"Such legal hocus-pocus completely disregards accepted international principles and practices on due process, double jeopardy, bill of attainder, freedom of thought, and the like," it said.
It said the amended petition is part of the government's attempt to impose a "full-blown fascist dictatorship, scrap the May 2019 elections, and establish a fake federal state with local dynasties beholden to the dictator of the so-called regional states."
The NDFP declared that the CPP and NPA "cannot and will not enter the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) court to participate in the proceedings" owing to their adherence to the judicial system of the "people's democratic government."
"For the GRP to attempt to proscribe the CPP and NPA makes returning to the negotiating table to address the roots of the armed conflict even more complicated if not altogether impossible," the NDFP said.
Peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels under the Duterte administration were canceled in November 2017. — RSJ, GMA News