Statement of the NDFP Negotiating Panel
18 January 2019
The amended petition submitted by the Department of Justice of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) seeking to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) is a piece of legal fiction with dire consequences for the people.
The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) which represents these allied organizations in peace negotiations views the amended petition as part of the GRP’s desperate moves 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 in control of the so-called regional states.
The amended petition is groundless and merely a rehash of previously disproven charges in old cases, both in the Philippines and abroad, that have either been definitively resolved, dismissed with finality, and obviously prescribed or are already being contested in proceedings before GRP courts – against trumped up charges with the use of moving skeletons and manufactured witnesses as evidence.
Moreover, the link between the eight remaining individuals alleged to be officers of the CPP and NPA and the purported terrorist acts does not exist. Such legal hocus-focus completely disregards accepted international principles and practices on due process, double jeopardy, bill of attainder, freedom of thought, and the like.
Up to now there is still no acceptable definition of terrorism in the world. The United Nations (UN) has none. Even the GRP’s own Human Security Act tacks its meaning on a broad compilation of acts already deemed as offenses in its penal laws. The Act only serves to set aside and in effect nullify without any just basis the GRP’s long established jurisprudence on the Hernandez political offense doctrine.
The amended petition caps the all-out “legal offensive” by the GRP against the revolutionary forces, starting with Proclamations 360 (terminating peace negotiations) and 374 (declaring CPP and NPA as “terrorist organizations”), as well as Memorandum Order No. 32 (deployment of more security forces in selected areas to suppress “lawless violence and acts of terror”) and Executive Order 70 (creating national task force to end “local communist armed conflict”), coupled with an insidious arsenal of tools that have resulted in the illegal arrests of NDFP consultants that undermine the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and other binding bilateral agreements.
The petition is definitely against the interest of the Filipino people who desire a just and lasting peace through negotiations and agreements on social, economic and political reforms. 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.
On the principled basis that the CPP and NPA adhere to the people’s democratic government, which has its own judicial system, the CPP and NPA cannot and will not enter the GRP court to participate in the proceedings.
The NDFP, however, is gravely concerned of the dire and adverse impact and consequence of the amended petition to legal democratic organizations and activists due to the GRP’s policy of linking activists and government critics to the CPP and NPA and tagging them as “terrorists” or involved with “terrorist organizations and acts.” There is imminent danger that they will be subjected to the arbitrary measures allowed under the Human Security Act.
The CPP and NPA will continue to defend the national and democratic aspirations of the Filipino people to achieve thoroughgoing land reform, national industrialization, environmental protection, and genuine national sovereignty. Hence, any attempt of the GRP to proscribe and brand the CPP and NPA as terrorist organizations will be futile.###
Fidel V. Agcaoili