THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) welcomed the decision of a Manila court to dismiss the proscription case filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to declare the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, as terrorist group.In a statement, CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena said that while they do not recognize the petition filed by the DOJ to tag them as a terrorist group, they find the decision of Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 19 presiding judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar “reasonable and fair.”“The decision comes as a pleasant surprise in the face of the relentless efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac to stick the ‘terrorist’ label against the CPP, as well as other patriotic and democratic forces,” he said.“The decision can be considered as a legal pushback by some members of the judiciary against the NTF-Elcac, which has been aggressively putting every state agency under its command in the name of ‘anti-terrorism,’ as well as against the so-called Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA) that has been involved in pushing courts to issue defective search and arrest warrants, planting evidence and filing false charges against activists, as well as revolutionaries,” he added.Valbuena said the CPP-NPA “are not terrorist” but rather “a revolutionary organization that advances the Filipino people’s aspirations for genuine national freedom and democracy and draw its strength from the support of the broad masses, especially, peasants and workers.”He said the NTF to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (Elcac) should now stop its terrorist branding not only against the CPP-NPA but as well as of the workers unions, peasant association and other personalities.Valbuena said the court’s decision may also push for the removal of the CPP-NPA under the list of terrorist group in other countries, particularly in the United Stated, Australia, New Zealand and also at the European Union.“Members of the CPP and the NPA must continue to keep their guards up, remain militant and determined to fight the fascist onslaught and terrorism of AFP, and advance the revolutionary cause of the Filipino people,” he said.“We anticipate the militarist-minded officers of the AFP, as well as the NTF-Elcac, to disregard the decision of the Manila TC and continue with its terrorist tagging, its anti-people counter-insurgency drive and campaign of suppression,” he added.The DOJ filed a proscription case to declare the CPP-NPA a terrorist group based on the Section 17 of the Human Security Act (HAS) of 2007.In a decision released by Malagar, he said he perusal of the foregoing program of the CPP-NPA showed that their organization or existence is “not for the purpose engaging in terrorism.”He said the incident allegedly committed by the CPP-NPA did not meet the stringent requirements of HAS of 2007 and that it can only qualify as incidents of rebellion. (SunStar Philippines)