DoJ: Communists are not terrorists court ruling is flawed

The ruling of a Manila Regional Trial Court dismissing a government petition to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People’s Army as a terrorist organization was not based on submitted evidence but on the sentiments of respondents.

Thus said the Department of Justice in its manifestation submitted to the RTC Branch 19 on 6 October 2022.

“Regrettably and with all due respect, the Honorable Court chose to close its eyes from the evidence presented before it,” DoJ state prosecutors said of the court decision signed by Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar on 21 September 2022.

Contrary to the RTC Branch 19 decision stating present realities attest that terrorism does not flourish in a healthy and vibrant democracy, the DoJ said, “terrorist attacks were committed even in first-world countries and countries known to have healthy and vibrant democracies.”

It cited the 11 September 2001 or 9/11 attacks in a very advanced New York in the United States, the 7 July 2005 London bombings, the 22 July 2011 attacks in Oslo, Norway, the 15 April 2013 Boston Marathon blasts, the 13 November 2015 coordinated attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis suburb, 19 December 2016 attack in Breitcheid Platz, Berlin, and the 9 November 2018 attack in Melbourne, Australia.

Terrorist attacks, the DoJ said, were even committed right at the center of the country’s democratic government where the Manila court sits such as the 30 December 2020 Rizal Day bombing of a Light Railway coach, and the 13 November 2007 blast at the Batasan Pambansa.

The 32-page DoJ manifestation said RTC Branch 19, in dismissing the former’s petition, took a Machiavellian approach that “the end justifies the means.”

“Be it as it may, while armed struggle with violence that accompanies it, is indubitably the approved means to approve to achieve the CPP-NPA’s purpose, means is not synonymous with purpose. Stated otherwise, armed struggle is only a means to achieve the CPP’s purpose; it is not the purpose of the creation of the CPP,” the DoJ quoted Judge Malagar’s ruling.


The manifestation said the court only conveyed a very clear, albeit erroneous and disastrous idea.

“That the desired result is so good or important that any method, even a morally bad one, including assassinations, may be used to achieve it,” the DoJ said.

State prosecutors are also left in quandary for the classification of 12 CPP-NPA atrocities in Regions 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 as hearsay.

“If said exhibits or evidence are indeed hearsay, the Honorable Court should not have admitted them in the first place, the DoJ manifestation read, referring to the court order on the documentary evidence that became part of witnesses’ testimonies.

DoJ added that eight articles not admitted as evidence should have been the ones classified as hearsay.

Biased conclusion
Despite the testimonies of multiple witnesses on the all-black outfit as the uniform of the NPA and testimonies of former CPP-NPA officers on the party directive, the DoJ found the conclusion of the RTC Branch 19 biased in favor of the respondents against the petitioner.

The manifestation said it is not the intention of DoJ to impress upon the court that respondents should be proscribed based on the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing and other purging operations that happened before the effectivity of the Human Security Act of 2007.

‘We want to inform the Honorable Court that respondents were organized as early as 1968 or 1971 to commit terrorist acts and that they continue to exist as such after the effectivity of HSA of 2007, thereby, proving that they were organized to engage in terrorism,” the DoJ said.

It added that the CPP-NPA merits the declaration as a terrorist organization since Section 17 of the HAS provides two grounds for the issuance of a proscription.

These are: (1) when an organization, association, or group of persons is organized for the purpose of terrorism; and (2) When an organization, although not organized for terrorism, it uses acts to terrorize, sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand.

The DoJ’s manifestation was submitted not as pursuance of the denied petition but only as an expression of disagreement. It earlier said that it shall take another course of legal action.

The CPP-NPA, which has been waging an armed revolution for more than five decades is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines.

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