A REGIONAL Trial Court in Manila has declared former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, a United Nations special rapporteur and a consultant to the National Democratic of the Philippines as “non-parties” to the case filed by the Justice department seeking to tag the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organizations.
In a July 27 resolution, the Manila RTC, Branch 19, resolved to declare Ocampo, UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosis, and former Baguio City councilor Jose Melencio Molintas, alleged officer of CPP-NPA under the Ilocos Cordillera Regional Committee, as non-parties to the case.
As a result the lower court recalled the summons it issued to compel them to appear before the proceedings in connection with the petition filed by the Justice Department seeking to declare the CPP and the NPA as terrorist organizations.
Presiding Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar said the summons were wrongly issued to Corpuz and the other alleged CPP-NPA members and officers identified as former Bayan Rep. Satur Ocampo, communist consultant Rafael Baylosis and Jose Melencio Molintas, officer of CPP-NPA under the Ilocos Cordillera Regional Committee or ICRC.
The court ruled that the alleged CPP-NPA officers were not properly impleaded in the case, thus the need to recall the summons issued against them.
The court said the subject of the prayed-for declaration was the CPP-NPA as an organization, association or group of persons, thus neither Ocampo nor Baylosis could be considered a party-respondent in the petition.
The court turned down the argument of the Justice department that the inclusion of the names of Ocampo and Baylosis in the body of the petition and tagging them as officers of the CPP-NPA was because the organizations had no known addresses and had no juridical personalities, and therefore, could be served with summons through the two alleged officers.
Instead, the court gave credence to the denials of Ocampo and Baylosis that they had links with the CPP-NPA either as members or officers.
“In this case, Ocampo and Baylosis had done more than give notice of severance of their association with the CPP-NPA; they had denied being actually members or officers of said respondent-organizations,” the resolution said.
The court noted that it was the CPP and the NPA that were the respondents because it was against them that the declaration was being sought.