MANILA – A party-list lawmaker on Thursday filed a measure proposing to outlaw the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and all other organizations supporting them in their recruitment, operations, and financial transactions.
Duterte Youth Party-List Representative Drixie Mae Cardema filed House Bill 4324, which seeks to declare the CPP-NPA-NDF and all organizations supporting them as "illegal" and "outlawed".
"For the defense of our Republic and protection of the Filipino youth from being recruited as terrorist fighters, it is imperative that we provide this strong legal measure to support our government, our government troops, and the millions of peace-loving Filipinos in securing our society from the said terrorist activities," Cardema said.
The bill states that anyone who becomes or remains a member of the CPP-NPA-NDF or any organization supporting them shall be punished by the penalty of prision mayor and shall be disqualified permanently from holding any public office, appointive or elective, and his/her real and personal properties shall be confiscated.
In case of a second conviction, the principal penalty shall be reclusion temporal, and in all subsequent convictions, the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed.
Some acts that shall constitute as prima facie evidence of membership include allowing himself/herself to be listed as a member in any lists, records, correspondences, or documents of the organizations; subjecting himself to the discipline of such organization; giving financial contribution; executing orders, plans, directives; acting as an agent, courier, messenger, or organizer on behalf of the organization; and recruiting in schools or communities for the CPP-NPA-NDF using a different organization name, among others.
Cardema proposed a "Balik Loob" provision, in which any person who is a member of the CPP-NPA-NDF or organizations supporting them could renounce such membership in writing and under oath before their municipal or city mayor, provincial governor, or before the President of the Philippines for a period of only 30 days after the approval of the Act.
Such renunciation shall exempt him or her from the penal sanctions of the proposed law, and shall qualify him or her for benefits and assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government.
Another provision states that those who renounce their membership within 30 days after the approval of the law and function as state witnesses for the government in identifying remaining members of the said organizations shall be under the witness protection program and shall be given a state pension or honorarium.
Any personnel and officer of the government, whether uniformed or civilian, who actively participated in the passage and implementation of this proposed law shall be accorded with a security detail for a period of 10 years to ensure their safety and security in advocating for this Act.
"With this measure, we will not only destroy their ability to wage war, but will also give them a second chance to join our government and peace-loving society in this modern era," Cardema said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The NDF has also been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)