By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – The amended petition filed by the Department of Justice on the infamous proscription case against revolutionary groups is a proof that the original plea was not only “sloppy” but was only “designed to harass and threaten” the more than 600 individuals listed, a human rights lawyer said.
Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), said in a statement that the “present petition remains to be without legal and factual basis and repackaged the old one in order to railroad the legal process.”
The proscription case was filed by a ranking state prosecutor last year, alleging that the 657 names listed in their plea are officers and members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People’s Army, which they want to be declared as terrorist organizations.
Progressives pointed out that the list, which comprised of 36 peace consultants, 61 legal activists, 17 detained political prisoners, 83 women activists, four former and present United Nations officials, nine dead, two victims of enforced disappearance, and dozens of aliases, was meant to silence political dissenters.
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They also strongly criticized the outright red-tagging, saying that this will make them a subject of surveillance, threats, harassments, and even enforced disappearance and killings.
“This will in turn violate a slew of individual and collective rights not only for those who remain in the list but many others who are maliciously identified, associated, suspected or labelled,” Olalia added.
In the amended plea, the DOJ has deleted more than 600 names and retained CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, Jorge Madlos, Jaime Padilla, and five others as supposed officers of the CPP and the NPA.
The DOJ, in its amended plea, claimed that the “other officers and members of respondents CPP and NPA whose names, addresses, and present whereabouts are unknown, are also operating in different parts of the Philippine territory.
Last year, no less than Justice secretary Menardo Guevarra admitted during the budget proceeding before lawmakers that the Department of Justice did not verify the list and if there is a connection between the named individuals and CPP or NPA. (Bulatlat.com)