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UN rapporteur, 3 others cleared from DOJ terror list

By Marc Jayson Cayabyab

MANILA, Philippines — A Manila court has cleared United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, Rafael Baylosis and Jose Melencio Molintas from the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s petition seeking to declare them as terrorists.

In a 14-page resolution dated July 27, Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 cleared them from the list of over 600 names submitted by the DOJ to the court.

But the court will proceed with the government’s main petition, which sought to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as a terrorist organization.

In its petitition, the DOJ alleged that Corpuz, Ocampo, Baylosis and Molintas were alleged members of the CPP-NPA who should be declared as terrorists.

The DOJ petition was submitted by former justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said during a budget hearing at the House of Representatives that the DOJ has yet to verify the connections of the four to the CPP-NPA.

Corpuz, the first woman and indigenous person from the Philippines to hold the post of UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, and Molintas said the DOJ’s request to tag them as terrorists put their lives in danger.

“There is nothing in the petition or its attachments that point to Molintas and Corpuz as officers or representatives of the CPP-NPA,” the court decision read.

Ocampo and Baylosis denied being officers or members of the CPP-NPA.

Ocampo, along with National Anti-Poverty Commission chief Liza Maza, former agrarian reform secretary Rafael Mariano and former Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casiño, is being hunted by police for the killings of three farmers in Nueva Ecija in 2001 and 2004.

Source: PhilStar

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