Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II confirmed that Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison and former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo were included in the 600 persons linked to the CPP and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) who were tagged as terrorists in a petition filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court last month.
Also in the list are UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, alleged CPP leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Rafael Baylosis, former peace panel chief Luis Jalandoni, human rights lawyer and former Baguio City councilor Jose Molintas and Cordillerans Joanna Carino, Windel Farag-ey Bolinget, Sherwin De Vera, Beverly Sakongan Longid and Jeannette Ribaya Cawiding.
Aguirre said that the list was not “baseless and irresponsible” as claimed by Corpuz as he dared critics to just challenge the DOJ’s move before the court.
“This list is a product of research and evidence supplied by police authorities and intelligence agencies. If they have evidence to the contrary, they should just answer the petition and the court will hear them. This case should not be tried through the media,” Aguirre told reporters.
The DOJ chief explained that the petition was filed following the termination of the peace talks between the government and the CPP.
Corpuz, a former chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, was named UN special rapporteur in 2014. She decried her inclusion in the list as “baseless, malicious and irresponsible.”
She founded the indigenous peoples advocacy and research group, Tebtebba Inc., and helped draft the Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the United Nations in 2007.
Ocampo, on the other hand, is facing murder charges in the Manila RTC for his alleged involvement in the murder of suspected military spies in the communist movement in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, Baylosis was ordered arrested last January over charges of illegal possession of firearms. PNA