Manila court accepts new NPA ‘terror list’ with only 8 of 600-plus names remaining

The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) has admitted the new “terrorist list” in which the Department of Justice (DOJ) retained only eight people out of the more than 600 it earlier accused of being connected with the New People’s Army (NPA).

Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar recently issued a resolution that retained Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, Jorge Madlos, Jaime Padilla, Francisco Fernandez, Cleofe Lagapon, Antonio Cabanatan, Leonido Nabong, and Myrna Sularte as parties to the proscription case.

However, the court said it can only summon Sison and Cabanatan, the alleged secretary of the NPA Mindanao Commission, after the DOJ established their “undisputed link” to CPP-NPA based on the documents it submitted.

“[It] is not because these parties are considered respondents to the Petition…but only because their undisputed link to the CPP-NPA is necessary for this court to ensure proper service of summons and acquire jurisdiction,” the resolution read.

A summons by publication would be issued since Sison is currently in exile in the Netherlands, while Cabanatan’s address is unknown.

The court also cleared all the other individuals whose names were not retained in the DOJ’s amended petition, including National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants Rey Casambre and Randall Echanis.

“[It] shall be taken as basis for this court to declare Joanna Carino, Joan Carling, Jeannete Lubi, Rey Claro Casambre, Sherwin De Vera, and Randall Echanis as well as the more than 600 personalities named and enumerated in paragraph 7 of the Original Petition as non-parties to the present Amended Petition,” read the resolution.

Prior to this, the court in October 2018 already dropped former Bayan Muna Rep. Saturnino Ocampo, NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosis, United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur for Indigenous People’s Rights Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and Jose Molintas, a former member of the UN expert mechanism on indigenous people’s rights, as non-parties to the case.

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