DOJ to seek court’s ‘terrorist’ tag on CPP-NPA, cancellation of Tiamzon couple’s bail

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Reuters file photo of President Rodrigo Duterte in front of a CPP flag.

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has ordered the Office of the Prosecutor General to petition the regional trial court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army a terrorist organization.

The DOJ also petitioned Manila RTC Branch 32 to void the temporary liberty granted to alleged CPP head Benito Tiamzon, his wife Wilma, and Edilberto Silva.

Department Order No. 779 noted that Republic Act No. 9372, or the Human Security Act of 2007, requires the Department of Justice toseek clearance from the court before an organization can be declared a terrorist and outlawed group.

Aguirre said he is confident the court will grant the petition, which follows President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation earlier this week tagging the communist rebels as terrorists.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Human Security Act, on which the proclamation is based, also covers groups “affiliated” with or helping finance the rebels.

The proclamation also directs the Department of Foreign Affairs “to publish the foregoing designation of CPP-NPA and other designated persons, organizations, in accordance with Sections 3 and 15 of RA 10168 and its implementing rules and regulations.”