President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a proclamation that would label the New People’s Army (NPA) and Communist Party of the Philippines as terrorist group.
National Democratic Front (NDF) was not included in the list of terrorist group proclaimed by the President.
“I, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the constitution and existing laws, do hereby declare the CPP-NPA as a designated and/or identified as a terrorist organization pursuant to RA 10168,” the document said.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, any individuals who would finance the activities of the CPP-NPA would be held liable and could face arrest under the law.
Republic Act No. 10168 is Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act, which prohibited anyone to finance terrorist groups like NPA.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) welcomed the latest proclamation of President Rodrigo Duterte, saying that they can now fully execute and perform their mandate without restrictions against the communist group.
“Having said that, the AFP’s Focused Military Operations will now become even more precise, simple and effective. We can now address without any hesitation and with all the means and resources available to us the increasing criminal and economic sabotage activities of these terrorists,” AFP spokesperson Major General Restituto Padilla said in a press statement.
Lorenzana also said that the government has walked extra mile just to accommodate the communist group to end the four decade war, however, the CPP-NPA-NDF imposed unreasonable conditions.
“But they have imposed unreasonable conditions and continued their criminal acts such as kidnappings, attacks on the military and the police, destruction of property, and extortion. Clearly their aim is not the welfare of the Filipino but the pursuit of their selfish agenda. Henceforth, they will be called communist terrorists,” Lorenzana said said.
Last year, the government released 22 DNF consultants for the talks, including CCP chairman Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma, who were arrested in 2014 as part of the peace talks.
CPP-NPA-NDF is not yet releasing any statement on the new proclamation of President Duterte.
Last month President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he would end the peace talks between CPP-NPA-NDF after the armed wing of the communist party continued their offensives in different parts of the Philippines.
In response, NPA conducted several offensives and ambushes in different parts of the Philippines which resulted to the deaths of several members of the government forces.
Last week, AFP-PNP and NPA clashed in Batangas which ended in 14 casualties from the communists including a female University of the Philippines student that allegedly turned into a rebel.