In a surprise decision, an RTC judge ruled the CPP/NPA is not a terrorist organization igniting a tempest that is still reverberating up to this day.
For one, it resurrected the Red Tagging controversy which seems to have simmered down a little in recent weeks.
Academics and lawyer organizations immediately sprang to the defense of RTC Judge Marlo A. Magdozo-Malagar who made the decision.
The Supreme Court also directed Lorraine Badoy why she should not be cited in contempt for her social media postings.
As a military and police veteran who has devoted many years in the anti-dissident campaign, my initial reaction when I read the news was a feeling of having been cheated by the court decision.
It is as if the many years of service that I rendered was for nothing. I am sure that many of my kind also feel that way.
But let us toss those feelings aside and try look at the Judge’s decision as objectively as we can.
There might be more to her decision that meets the eye.
Since the case was filed in court about four years ago, it must have been under the Human Security Act of 2007, and not the current Anti-Terrorism Law which was signed in 2020.
The two laws define terrorism somewhat differently.
The 2007 law uses the phrase “to sow and create widespread and extraordinary fear among the populace” in describing violent acts perpetrated to force the government to accede to the demands of a terrorist organization.
Since the government cited about nine different cases, the Judge did not believe these meet the definition of widespread acts because the cases only happened in few provinces and not throughout the country.
Although the Judge accepts that violence is indubitably linked to revolutionary war, she differentiates between purpose and means which to her are not synonymous.
Although there can be some strong arguments to be made with this position, it appears the Judge did not see it that way.
There was also apparently a distinction made whether a crime was committed in the personal capacity of an individual CPP/NPA guerilla or the result of directives coming from the CPP/NPA.
If this is the case, it would appear that the Judge is not familiar to the way the CPP/NPA operates because in such an instance, there really is no distinction.
We can debate other points in the decision but the fact remains that the Judge is clearly in the position to interpret the law as she sees it and her safety should not be compromised because of it.
There is no denying however, that the decision can be interpreted as a victory for the CPP/NPA.
Fortunately, the process does not end there. The DOJ can still appeal the decision or file a new case under the 2020 Anti-Terrorism Law. We will just have to wait and see what happens next
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At this juncture, it might be helpful to remind everyone that the CPP/NPA has been waging a violent revolutionary war since its founding in in 1969 or 53 years ago.
The cost to country is enormous and incalculable.
By its very nature, a revolutionary war is waged using methods outside the law to achieve its goals. This includes murder, pillage, kidnappings, extortion which is popularly known as revolutionary taxation and destruction of government and private properties and more.
The few cases cited by the good Judge wherein she based her decision do not really tell the whole story if we enumerate all those crimes committed by the CPP/NPA since its founding.
The conflict is no longer limited to waging an open rebellion by force of arms but also using other means like infiltrating the government and propaganda to weaken the government’s ability to neutralize the CPP/NPA.
Quite simply, this conflict has grown in scope and complexity.
We are now seeing the above ground organizations of the CPP/NPA operating openly in our midst.
The capability of the CPP/NPA is such that it is now able to mount simultaneous actions on all fronts.
This is the reason why the government should try its best to adjust its strategies with the changing times in order not to be outmaneuvered every step of the way.
The CPP/NPA, due to its propaganda machinery, has succeeded to some extent in painting a romantic notion of an organization reforming a rotten and dysfunctional system when the complete opposite is true.
It even succeeded in making a popular senator who is an AFP Reserve Officer to issue a complimentary statement about an activity she participated with an organization reputed to be affiliated with the CPP/NPA.
There is nothing romantic about the CPP/NPA. For those who deal with this problem on the ground, they know that the CPP/NPA is an organization that will stop at nothing until they achieve their goal of taking over the government.
Yes, our current system is not perfect but it is so much better than what the CPP/NPA is offering as an alternative.