Senators yesterday backed the plan of President Duterte to declare the Communist-Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army as terrorists.
“Only a President with Duterte’s guts can declare the NPA as terrorists and that’s who they are for quite a long time,’’ Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee and a former Philippine National Police chief.
“Their ideology has been gone more than a decade ago. They burn, destroy, kill innocent civilians to terrorize. They terrorize to sow fear and harass helpless civilians. They harass to extort under the guise of revolutionary taxation,’’ Lacson said.
“And knowing Duterte, our security forces will surely respond to finally put an end to an almost half-century problem that morphed from ideology to plain banditry perpetrated by self-styled “army of the people,’’ he added.
Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had said the NPA has transformed itself into an armed wing of the communist organization into a group of brigands.
Sen. Gregorio B. Honasan II, chairman of the Senate National Defense and Security Committee and a former Army colonel, said that the President, as commander-in-chief of all security forces, and “based on information from his national security advisers, it is the President’s prerogative.”
“Kung ‘yung US ay dineklara ang CPP-NPA-NDF na terrorist organization, tayo pa kaya?’’ he said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III said a Regional Trial Court in Mindanao has long declared the NPA as a terrorist group. “Therefore, the President’s declaration is not far from coming.’’ (Mario B. Casayuran)