Court ruling shows terror tag petition ‘sloppy’: lawyer

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2018 04:24 PM

Human rights lawyer Edre Olalia. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- The Manila court ruling clearing a United Nations rapporteur and 3 others now “undermines” the rest of the government’s petition to declare more than 600 individuals as terrorists, a lawyer said Thursday.

The decision was a "clear signal" that the proscription petition against the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, was a "sloppy, haphazard work done in reckless haste," said Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of People’s Lawyers.

Receiving a favorable court ruling were Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a UN rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, peace panel consultant Rafael Baylosis, and Jose Melencio Molintas, a human rights activist.

Olalia said the ruling would be "helpful and beneficial" to others in the list of alleged terrorists submitted by the justice department.

"If there is a defect in one, then there is a great possibility that there is a defect in the others," he told ABS-CBN News.

"So that undermines the credibility, integrity, and even the strength of the petition."

The government wants the CPP-NPA legally declared a terrorist organization in an on-and-off peace negotiation with its political wing, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Formal talks were supposed to resume in late June, but the government held back after security officials cautioned against a planned stand-down agreement.