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House reso seeks lifting of terrorist tag on CPP-NPA-NDF, resumption of peace talks

The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives has filed a resolution calling for the revocation of government resolutions designating the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as terrorists.

Through House Resolution 756, members of the group are also calling for the resumption of peace talks between the government and the communist rebels.

According to the group, the terrorist tag on CCP-NPA-NDF and their "affiliate communist terrorist groups" has "led to a steep rise in violations of human rights and international humanitarian law." 

The designation, the group added, also "intensified the indiscriminate and ongoing labelling as terrorists of a wide cross-section of civil society seen as critical of government."

The Makabayan bloc was specifically referring to resolutions issued in December 2020, April and June 2021, and January and May 2022 by the Anti-Terrorism Council.

The terrorist designation, the lawmakers said, closes the door on the peace process to arrive at substantive reforms mutually agreed upon as a means of attaining lasting peace.

"[Such] terrorist designation indicates government's refusal to acknowledge that the ongoing armed conflict with the CPP-NPA persists because of its failure to implement the reforms needed to address widespread poverty, inequality, and social injustice," they said in its resolution.

In pushing for the resumption of peace talks, the group noted that history-wise, negotiations are effective in ending hostilities.

"Negotiations resulted in a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law  and the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, the said.

The bloc is composed of House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro, House Assistant Minority Leader Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan party-list Representative Raoul Manuel. —KBK, GMA Integrated News