PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has formally declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) to be terrorists in a proclamation disclosed by his spokesman on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

The as-yet-to-be released proclamation serves to cap the troubled peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the communist rebels.

The CPP, however, remains a legal organization after the 1992 repeal of Republic Act 1700, the long-standing law which outlawed the party, via Republic Act (RA) No. 7636 as enacted by the 9th Congress.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said the proclamation, already signed by Mr. Duterte, is in accordance with RA No. 10168, regarding “any person or entity designated and/or identified as a terrorist, one who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization or group under the applicable United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution or by another jurisdiction or supranational jurisdiction.”

“I quote the penultimate portion: In this regard I hereby direct to publish the foregoing designation of the CPP-NPA and all other designated persons, organizations in accordance with sections 3 and 15 of RA 10168 and its implementing rules and regulations,” Mr. Roque said.

“Take note that the domestic statute and the UN Security Council prohibit the giving of funds to terrorist organizations, (and) this will enable law enforcement agencies to run after individuals who will, in any way, provide financial support to the NPA, now that it has been described as a terrorist organization,” he added.

In accordance with the proclamation, the Executive Secretary issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Justice “to immediately file the necessary application for the proscription or declaration of the CPP-NPA as terrorist organization with appropriate regional trial court” pursuant to the provisions of RA 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007.

“Because of the proclamation, the (Justice) secretary was directed by the Executive Secretary to file a petition in the RTC because it is not automatic that just because the Executive has classified the group as a terrorist organization,” Mr. Roque said. — Rosemarie A. Zamora