A Manila court has approved the revival of a Philippine government petition seeking to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as a terrorist organization under the Human Security Act.
Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar granted a motion for reconsideration filed by the Department of Justice, citing “higher interest of justice.”
“The instant petition is hereby revived and the petitioner is directed to immediately cause the service of summons to the respondents by publication,” Malagar said in his order.
Under the Human Security Act, the government may, among other things, seize “deposits and their outstanding balances, placements, trust accounts, assets, and records in any bank or financial institution, money, businesses, transportation and communication equipment, supplies and other implements, and property” belonging to an organization declared as a terrorist organization and its members.
The original petition was filed in February 2018. On Jan. 3 last year, the DOJ filed an amended petition before the Manila court, delisting 600 persons in the original petition.
The court dismissed the DOJ petition on Jan. 20 this year, citing the department’s failure to prosecute “despite the lapse of a considerable length of time.”
In his motion for reconsideration dated Feb. 3, Deputy State Prosecutor Peter Ong explained the delay in the publication, saying the cost—which ranges from P200,000 to P300,000—had not been budgeted.
“The foregoing events caused the undersigned, as a public official to be circumspect in every step he is taking so as not to prejudice government funds as well as the interest of the government, whose objective in filing of this case, is to achieve a just and lasting peace for this country by, among others, ending the five-decade conflict with respondents,” Ong added.