By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Two city councilors from Baguio hailed the dropping of Atty. Jose Mencio Molintas and Victoria Tauli Corpuz from the Department of Justice’s terrorist proscription petition against the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.
The decision handed by Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 said the petition contains nothing that associates Corpuz and Molintas to the CPP-NPA. Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo and National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Rafael Baylosis were also cleared from the list.
In a statement, Councilors Arthur Allad-iw and Faustino Olowan referred to the ruling as “vindication of Resolution No. 92-2018” that urged the DOJ to drop the names of Baguio City residents from the list. The two introduced and adopted by the city council as a whole.
Also included in the resolution are Joan Carling, Jeannete Ribaya-Cawiding, Joanna Cariño, Beverly Longid and Windel Bolinget, all leaders of Cordillera Peoples Alliance.
They reiterated that the inclusion of the individuals in the petition “violates legal processes” and has endangered “their lives, families and friends.”
They called on the DOJ to “rectify their witch hunting” by removing the names of their constituents and the other 600 individuals named in the list. The councilors underscored the acknowledgment of the justice department that it has “no piece of evidence” to link the individuals with the group.
During the budget hearing last August 6, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra admitted the agency did not verify the information given by intelligence agencies with regards to the individuals named in the petition.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Peoples Lawyer castigated the DOJ, noting the inclusion of names to the proscription just to allow the agency to serve summons is “improper and incompetent.” The group said the government could have published the petition even without the names.
“Subsequent publication of the petition must exclude the individual names so as to prevent any further damage or risk to those irresponsibly included,” explained Atty. Edre Olalia, NUPL president.
He also called to make the DOJ officials responsible for the “wild petition” be made accountable for the “irreparable damage done to those improperly implicated.”# nordis.net