THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) and CPP founder, former university professor, Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison, are just a few steps away from being formally declared as ‘terrorists’ by a Metro Manila court hearing the petition filed last year by the Department of Justice.
In a service of summons “by publication” that appeared yesterday at People’s Tonight, Sison and Antonio Cabanatan, identified in the petition as the “secretary” of the CPP’s ‘Mindanao Commission,’ were ordered by Branch 19 of the Manila Regional Trial Court to file their reply to the DoJ’s petition within 60 days.
“You are reminded… to observe restraint in filing a motion to dismiss and instead allege the grounds thereof as defenses in the answer.
“If you fail to answer within the time fixed, the petitioner will take judgement by default and may be granted the relief applied for in the second amended petition,” the summons added.
Early last year the DoJ filed a petition before the Manila RTC to declare as “terrorists,” Sison and over 600 other individuals who are the alleged top leaders of the CPP-NPA, which are seeking to overthrow the government thru armed struggle.
In February 2019, however, Hon. Judge Marlo A. Magdoza-Malagar of Branch 19, dropped the 600 other names in the DoJ petition for lack of substantive evidence on their link to the CPP-NPA.
The DoJ then amended its petition and named 6 more individuals aside from Sison and Cabanatan as officials of the CPP-NPA to whom summons can be sent to answer the government’s allegation.
The six—Jorge Madlos, Jaime Padilla, Francisco Fernandez, Cloefe Lagapon, Leonido Nabong and Myrna Solarte—were also delisted by the court, also for lack of substantive evidence.
However, the decision making Sison and Cabanatan as direct “parties” to the DoJ petition paved the way for the court to properly hear the government’s motion to declare the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations.
As Sison, who has been also in the United States’ list as a supporter has been in ‘self-exile’ in the Netherlands since 1988 and as Cabanatan also has no known address, the court noted that its summons thru publication in a newspaper of general circulation is already sufficient notice to make them answer the petition.
The United States, since 2002, has declared the CPP-NPA as “terrorist groups” and Sison as a “supporter” of terrorism. The European Union followed suit in 2005 when it also declared the CPP-NPA as “terrorists.”