Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar dismissed on 21 September the petition of the Department of Justice to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist groups. The court stated that the Manila government failed to establish any basis for their petition, classifying the struggle being waged by the CPP and NPA as “rebellion” and not terrorism.

The court concluded that they are waging armed resistance with clear political aims, and directs their attacks against armed agents of the Manila government, and not against civilians. Judge Magdoza-Malagar also cited the CPP’s Constitution and Program, saying these contain “reasonable aspirations of any civilized society.”

Reacting to the news, CPP Information Officer Marco Valbuena, clarified that the CPP is governed by the laws of the People’s Democratic Government and therefore does not recognize the case filed by Department of Justice. He however welcomed the decision of Judge Magdoza-Malagar as “reasonable and fair”.

He said, “It is important to underscore how the decision concluded that the CPP and NPA are not terrorists… this decision has far-reaching legal and political implications.” Valbuena also cited the judge’s condemnation of the “pernicious practice of red-tagging” by the security officials of the Manila government, threatening the security of individuals and organizations critical of the actions of a sitting government.

“The decision,” Valbuena added, “can serve as basis for Filipinos and their friends in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Europe to push for the removal of the CPP and NPA from the ‘list of terrorist organizations’ that are unjustly being maintained by their governments.”

It also serves to strengthen the local and international campaigns against the terrorist listing of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, CPP Founding Chairman Prof. Jose Maria Sison and NDFP Chief International Representative Luis Jalandoni.