A former official of the Supreme Court asserted that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) cannot be declared terrorists under the new Anti-Terror Act (ATA).
Former Associate Justice Antonio Carpio shared this view in reaction to Duterte’s declaration that “the CPP is terrorist because I declare it to be” and the clarification of Sen. Panfilo Lacson that only the courts can formally proscribe as terrorist any organization. Carpio said both Duterte and Lacson are wrong because the CPP and NPA are “rebels” and not terrorists.
Carpio pointed out that under the ATA, “under the ATA rebels are not terrorists and cannot be declared as terrorists.” He pointed out that rebellion is not considered a “predicate crime” by the ATA. This is different from the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007 which states rebellion is absorbed under terrorism. The ATA replaced the HSA.
Carpio added that the intent of rebellion “is to remove any territory or military force of the Philippines from allegiance to the Government or its laws” is different from ATA’s definition of terrorism. “CPP-NPA rebels, whose intent is clearly rebellion, are not terrorists under the ATA, and consequently they, individually or as a group, cannot be proscribed as terrorists under the ATA.”
It is thus clear that the ATA was passed to suppress the forces and activists openly defying the regime. It is just that they question the law before the courts, especially since it violates their rights under the country’s laws.
Contrary to what the regime’s officials claim, the Party and people’s army are not listed as terrorist by United Nations Security Council, Australia, United Kingdom or Canada.