DOJ petition seeking to declare CPP-NPA as terrorist group nears submission

admin   •   January 4, 2018   •   4809

Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army or CPP-NPA

MANILA, Philippines —  The Department of Justice is about to complete within the month the petition it will file before the Supreme Court that seeks to officially declare the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army or CPP-NPA a terrorist group, in accordance with the provision of the RA 9372 or the Human Security Act.

According to Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, the DOJ is just waiting for other evidence they will incorporate in the said petition.

“Perhaps within the month we can complete this because of the so many incidents I am still waiting for the reports to come in, certified true copies of the reports,” Ong said.

It can be recalled Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea ordered the DOJ to file a petition before the high tribunal to declare the communists as a terrorist group.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte verbally proclaimed the CPP-NPA as such on December 5, 2017.

Ong reasoned that they have strong evidence against the communists, noting they have recorded 10 cases of attacks committed by the CPP-NPA during the term of the Duterte administration.

The latest attack, Ong said, was the rebels’ ambush of government troops during a rescue operation in Katubig Northern, Samar after the onslaught of typhoon Urduja.

He noted they have also received similar reports of attacks from the local prosecution office.

“We were able to gather incidents of their… we call it ‘atrocities’ they call it ‘tactical offensive’… whatever those incidents of terrorist acts, terrorist activities of theirs were, ” said Ong.

He clarified that they are focusing on the organization and not on individuals to be tagged as terrorists.

“We are not petitioning Joma, but the organization itself. In my prayer in this petition, actually in the title, ‘Petition to declare Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as terrorist organizations, associations and group of persons,’ I am not focusing on the individuals. Although I made mention their names because they are officers of the CPP-NPA,” he added.

He said many of their reports come from Surigao del Norte. They also have with them the names of the CPP-NPA’s alleged commander of platoons and their Lumad platoon.

The DOJ has yet to determine the court where to file the petition especially now that there are alleged attacks happening in various areas of the country.

DOJ’s partner in creating the petition are various government agencies like the NBI, AFP and PNP. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

Palace: Duterte in good health, went motorcycle-riding over the weekend

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2019

File: President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday assured that President Rodrigo Duterte is in good health despite being out of the public eye for more than a week now.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement amid concerns on Duterte’s health and absence in the past week.

He added that Duterte even went for a motorcycle ride in Davao City over the weekend.

“In fact, he shared to me yesterday, sabi nya, ‘Alam mo ba na I went out sa motorsiklo?’ Nag motorsiklo daw siya sa subdivision niya. Hindi ko na alam kung kahapon yun o the day before,” he said.

“It only shows na kung nakaka-motor siya, he’s in good health,” he added.

Duterte was last seen in public on August 9 when he attended a police event in Camp Crame in Quezon City.  

Panelo said that when not attending any public engagement, the chief executive deals with paperwork and private meetings.

“Ang sabi niya, marami siyang trabaho na mga papeles, binabasa niya isa-isa. Hindi siya makapirma ng hindi niya thoroughly reading these papers,” Panelo said.

“At the same time, meron siyang mga private meetings and courtesy call,” he added.

The president’s health has been a recurring issue given his age.

At 74, Duterte is the oldest to be elected Philippine president in history.

He previously revealed he was suffering from Barret’s esophagus or medically known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, as well as perpetual pain due to a spine injury and constipation. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte won’t interfere in Cardema-Guanzon row – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2019

File: President Rodrigo Duterte (PCOO)

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday said that President Rodrigo Duterte will not interfere with the row between Duterte Youth Party-list nominee Ronald Cardema and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Rowena Guanzon.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Cardema and Guanzon’s feud is between the two of them.

He added that the president will not meddle in the issue as he respects the independence of Comelec and other constitutional bodies.

“The case between Mr. Cardema and Commissioner Guanzon, I think it’s between the two of them,” he said.

“Moreover, the President respects the independence of any constitutional body. The President has not and will not interfere on any function of the Commission as well as other constitutional bodies,” he added.

Guanzon has been vocal about her opposition to Cardema’s nomination as the Duterte Youth Party-list representative and accused the latter as the one behind the threats against her.

Cardema, in turn, accused Guanzon of extortion, which she denied.

The Commissioner also dared the former to file an impeachment case against her.

READ: Comelec 1st division cancels Cardema’s nomination as Duterte Youth party rep

The feud between the two follows the decision of the poll body’s first division to cancel Cardema’s nomination as representative of the Duterte Youth party because the law states that youth representatives must be from 25 to 30 years old.

Instead of having word war, Panelo advised Cardema to file an appropriate complaint against Guanzon to settle the issue. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

DOJ launches preliminary investigation into VP Robredo’s sedition case

Marje Pelayo   •   August 9, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched the preliminary investigation on the complaints of sedition filed against Vice President Leni Robredo and some members of the opposition.

Present in the investigation were respondents who belong to the free legal assistance group namely Atty. Erin Tañada; Atty. Chel.Diokno; Atty. Florin Hilbay; Atty. Philip Sawali and former Supreme Court spokesperson Atty. Theodore Te.

Also present was primary respondent and witness in the case, Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy.

Robredo and 35 others were being linked to the so-called ‘Project Sodoma’ or a plot by opposition groups to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. Part of such plan was the release of the narco-video series ‘Ang Totoong Narcolist.’

Representing the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) was Assistant Solicitor General Angelita Miranda which the opposition argued as questionable.

“Ang OSG (ay) tribune of the people ‘no. Hindi tuta ng Malacañang, (OSG is the tribune of the people not a puppet of Malacañang),” noted Atty. Rene Saguisag, the legal counsel of opposition senator Risa Hontiveros.

“It should not sandbag itself into becoming a defender of the attempt of the administration to eliminate all dissent and dissenters,” he added.

Other respondents also aired their disappointment over Miranda representing the police.

“Inamin naman nila na nakialam sila sa paggawa ng salaysay ni Advincula, (They admitted their part in writing Advincula’s statement),” Diokno, for his part, said.

“Iyon ay sa palagay ko isang lehitimong tanong. Sino ba talaga at bakit ba talaga ano ba talaga nasa likod nitong kasong ito? (The question now is: Who is behind this case, what is his reason and why?)” he added.

“Noong tayo po ay solicitor general, hindi ko naisip na makialam sa investigation ng criminal matters dahil iyong power ng OSG in criminal cases ay limited doon sa appeal na mawawala iyong independence ng opisina na iyon kung sa lebel pa lang ng imbestigasyon ay nakikialam na sila,” argued former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay.

(When I was solicitor general, I did not think of meddling with the investigation of criminal matters because the power of the OSG when it comes to criminal cases is limited only to the appeal. The independence of the office will be tainted if it will intervene with the investigation.)

Miranda refused to make a statement to the media but she did mention a provision written in Executive Order 292 which allows the OSG to “act and represent the Republic and/or the people before any court, tribunal, body or commission in any matter, action or proceeding which, in his opinion, affects the welfare of the people as the ends of justice may require.”

The respondents were supposed to submit their respective counter-affidavits but according to Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas they have received 15 motions already from the respondents.

Torrevillas heads the DOJ Panel.

Most of the respondents, Torrevilas said, have been requesting for a suspension of the trial until the latter gathers evidence from the CIDG.

The DOJ Panel gave the CIDG 10 days to produce the evidence and comply such as video footages of contained in a USB.

In case the motions are resolved, the respondents have until September 6 to submit their counter-affidavits.

Meanwhile, supporters of Robredo were determined despite the heavy rains.

“Hindi sedisyon ang sabihin ang katotohanan kaya narito po ang mamamayan na magpahayag para sabihin sa (Telling the truth is not an act of sedition, that’s why we’re here to tell the) Department of Justice: Drop the charges,” argued former DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman. – MNP (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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