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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

DOJ wants to tag over 600 persons as terrorists

A UNITED Nations special rapporteur, activists and former lawmakers are allegedly on a purported list of over 600 individuals who have been identified by the Department of Justice (DOJ) as communists who should be tagged as "terrorists."

The list is purportedly part of the DOJ's petition asking the Manila Regional Trial Court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People's Army as terrorist organizations. Those on the list are suspected officers and members of the two organizations.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, denounced her inclusion in the list in a social media post. She described the move as "baseless, malicious and irresponsible."

"I am not connected at all in any way to these organizations nor do I have any knowledge, much less participation, with the alleged incidents cited in the petition," Tauli-Corpuz stated.



Others on the list are former House representative Satur Ocampo, Bayan Muna officer Vicente Ladlad and staff Brenda Biernes, Anakpawis partylist chairman Randall Echanis, former Selda officer Eliza Lubi, indigenous peoples' rights advocate Beverly Longid and lawyer Jose Molintas, according to Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.

Zarate condemned Friday, March 9, the DOJ list, which was filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court in February 2018.

MalacaƱang and the Justice department have yet to confirm the existence of such a list.

Zarate described the petition as "utterly false".

"The allegations in this malicious court petition are utterly false. Instead, of recognizing the legitimacy of the causes espoused by revolutionary groups and legal democratic organizations, the Duterte administration is pursuing even further the militarist line of terrorist-tagging," Zarate said.

"In fact, the reverse is true: the state, then and even now, unleashes terrorism to quell the growing peoples' dissent against widespread poverty, unemployment and human rights violation," he added.

Zarate said many will see that the petition is only a "harrassement suit" aiming to silence dissent, similar to how the government launched assaults on independent institutions critical to the administration, like the Supreme Court and the Office of the Ombudsman.

The DOJ filed the mentioned pleading at the Manila RTC about three months after President Duterte terminated the peace talks between the government and the CPP. (Keith Calayag/SunStar Philippines)
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