The Anti-Terror Council’s designation against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is directed not against the CPP per se. It is merely a precursor for heightened political repression and clampdown against the national democratic forces and the broader anti-Duterte movement.
Because it stands outside the bounds of the constitution of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), and for all intents and purposes is considered illegal by the GRP, the CPP will not and cannot take legal action the said designation.
It must be pointed out, however, that since the adverse legal implication of the designation actually goes beyond the CPP, other groups and individuals can take the necessary steps, both legal and political, as part of the defense of their legal rights.
As Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, National Security Adviser, himself yesterday threatened, the designation will have implications against individuals and organizations which they have long red-baited and indicted without court procedure as “legal fronts.” They are being persecuted because of their patriotic and democratic cause and because they have relentlessly criticized and opposed Duterte’s fascism, corruption and oppression against the people.
Even now, “bank accounts of the CPP and NPA” have been ordered frozen by the government, which will have implication not against the CPP (which does not maintain bank accounts), but against various organizations who have been accused of “funneling funds to the NPA” (again without proof) including party-list organizations, other political parties, religious and human rights organizations, unions, service-oriented NGOs, community schools and others.
Thus, the ATC designation against the CPP must be opposed by all democratic forces, even those who may consider themselves CPP-ambivalent or even anti-CPP or anti-NPA, because of the far-reaching harm it may cause against their legal and political rights.
They can take action to oppose the ATC’s terror-designation of the CPP in whatever legal forum that is available to them. Among the many reasons that they can cite are:
One, the ATC designation was issued treacherously at a time that the Supreme Court is just about to start deliberations on the question of the ATL’s constitutionality.
Two, the ATC resolution is legally infirm as the act of waging an armed revolution constitutes rebellion and not terrorism even under the GRP’s own laws.
Three, because the ATC resolution misrepresented foreign entities, namely, the UK and Australia, by claiming that the CPP is included in their “terror lists.”
Four, that no request has been made by any foreign entity to have their terror listing included in the GRP’s own list.
Surely, other infirmities can be pointed out by experts on GRP laws.