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DOJ Secretary Gonzalez eyes Abu Sayyaf, CPP and NPA for terror listing

by AJLPP-USA Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2007 at 12:38 PM
ajlpp_socal@yahoo.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez listed the bandit group Abu Sayyaf, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), among the groups being considered for inclusion in the terror list to be drawn up under the Human Security Act (HSA), said Tuesday. The outspoken Gonzalez also said he has already asked the Supreme Court to assign special courts to handle cases against suspected terrorists and terrorist organizations.

DOJ Secretary Gonzalez eyes Abu Sayyaf, CPP and NPA for terror listing

MANILA, Philippines -- Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez listed the bandit group Abu Sayyaf, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), among the groups being considered for inclusion in the terror list to be drawn up under the Human Security Act (HSA), said Tuesday.

The outspoken Gonzalez also said he has already asked the Supreme Court to assign special courts to handle cases against suspected terrorists and terrorist organizations.

Under section 17 of the HAS, which will take effect on July 15 despite the absence of implementing rules and guidelines, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has to apply before a "competent Regional Trial Court" for the proscription of terrorist organizations or individuals.

Following US Example

Meanwhile, Former AFP deputy Chief of Staff and Defense Undersecretary and now Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the government may follow the example of the European Union and the United States, which include the Abu Sayyaf and the CPP-NPA in their lists of foreign terrorist organizations.

"Well, as of now, we have to be consistent. They are in the international terrorist organizations of the EU and the US, so therefore, we should go by that. We cannot unilaterally say they are de-listed," Ermita told reporters in an interview Tuesday.

Ermita, who chairs the Anti-Terror Council, said he would meet with the members of the body to determine "how the law will apply in relation to their [alleged terrorist groups’] status."

After the PATRIOT Act was approved in the United States, the U.S. following the Philippine government advice placed the NPA and the CPP as well as Prof. Jose Ma. Sison on “Foreign Terrorist List.” The European Union followed U.S. action.

As a result the 10 year peace negotiations between the NDFP and the GRP was placed on jeopardy. The peace talks was scuttled following Philippine government and the U.S action. The talks has been stalled for more four years.

Terrorist Listing Effect

Gonzalez, in a news report said that in a month's time after the effectivity of the law, they could already apply before the courts for proscription of terrorist organizations or individuals.

Asked if he thinks it would be for the courts to include the CPP-NPA in the terror list, Gonzalez admitted: "I don't think easy."

He said the listing of the CPP-NPA in the country’s terror list will depend on the evidence submitted by the government to the court.

Asked if a group's past actions could be used as evidence to place it on the terror list, Gonzalez said: "That will depend...If it is something that you always do, like force of habit, or it is something…it's a scheme on your part all the time."

Gonzalez said he has written the high tribunal to request it to name special courts that will handle cases of suspected terrorist groups or individuals in key areas mentioned in the law.

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