HRW on Duterte admin terrorist tagging of communists : A Virual Hit List

HRW on Duterte admin terrorist tagging of communists : A Virual Hit List

The New York based Human Rights Watch has slammed the Philippine government for its actions regarding the tagging of some 600 suspected communists in the country.

A petition was filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) before the regional trial court (RTC) in Manila declaring more than 600 individuals whom thy suspect to be communists guerillas to be “terrorists.”

In a dispatch, HRW Asia Division Researcher Carlos Conde said that the Duterte administration is “putting at grave risk” the lives of these peoples, which include among others  a  United Nations human rights expert/ special rapporteur, a former lawmaker and four former Catholic priests.  *

CPP NPA Founder Joma Sison, former Party list rep. Satur Ocampo, and UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz(photo credit to owner)
“The justice department’s petition is a virtual government hit list. There’s a long history in the Philippines of the state security forces and pro-government militias assassinating people labeled as NPA members or supporters,” Conde said.

Conde calls on the Philippine President to recall such petition and ensure the safety of all the individuals included in that list.


The petition filed by the DOJ includes  United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz  who was listed as a senior member of the CPP-NPA and former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo on the list of terrorists.

Also included on the list were CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, former National Democratic Front of the Philippines chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni, NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosis and alleged CPP leaders Benito and William Tiamzon.

A few weeks back the DOJ made a statement announcing that it wanted the Manila RTC to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA), as “terrorist organizations,” but made no mention of individuals it would also target.


Corpuz with fellow rapporteur Cecilia Jimenez-Damary made a statement claiming human rights abuses were committed against indigenous peoples in Mindanao with the imposition of martial law. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque slams the two UN special rapporteurs for trying to embarrass the Duterte administration before the international community. *

The DOJ petition said the communist rebels were “using acts of terror” to sow fear and panic to overthrow the government.

Such declaration till give reason for the government to monitor them closer, track finances and restrict their access to resources, among other things.


The President in a speaking engagement in Clark, Pampanga said that the military is very aggressive in convincing the insurgents to lay their arms for peace.


“We are trying to really go out and just embrace them as brothers and at no other time, there were several firearms. If they become decimated by the number of surrenderees, maybe the Armed Forces can finish them off next year,” Duterte said.

“They can take whatever initiatives they want... the killing continues but at no other time are the NPAs surrendering with their firearms,” he added.


The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that more than 2,000 NPA rebels have already surrendered to the government just in the first two months of 2018.


“We are succeeding hopefully if we can sustain the momentum,” Duterte said. 

The President said the communist insurgents who surrendered are vulnerable to attacks by their former comrades for their “betrayal” of the communist ideology.

“It is taboo to them here and in Mindanao, everywhere, when you surrender and then you turn over your firearms to the soldier or the policeman. They will really hunt you down because that is anathema, a taboo. They will really run after you,” he said.  *

The provinces of Abra and Nueva Ecija remains a hot spot for  communist insurgency but the insurgency Mindanao is much more problematic than the first two provinces , where rebels are bearing firearms, said the President. 

“Until now, they go about collecting (revolutionary) taxes,” the President said. 

“Is this the way you treat the civilian if you are in power? You are all sexual predators,” he added, referring to allegations that some NPA rebels are molesting female civilians. 


Report from PhilStar


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