Taguig court convicts alleged communist combatant for rebellion

A REGIONAL trial court in Taguig City has convicted an alleged member of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed group of the communist movement, over a series of attacks against military personnel in Quezon, a province south of the capital, according to the Justice department.   

In a statement sent to reports on Thursday, the Department of Justice (DoJ)  said the court sentenced the combatant to a minimum of 17 years up to life in prison. 

The trial court said government prosecutors proved that the individual was involved in attacks from 2005 to 2006, including bombing a cellular network tower and ambushes on several military officers.  

Military personnel testified in court that the accused was one of the communist rebels they encountered. 

The alleged NPA member claimed that he was in Malabon City working in a bakery during the attack, which did not convince the court. 

“The defense of alibi may not prosper if it is established mainly by the accused-appellant himself and his relatives, and not by credible persons,” it said.  

Under the Revised Penal Code, rebellion or insurrection is defined as “taking arms against the government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said government or its laws.”  

“Rebellion and aiding it is a crime,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said in the same statement. “Those who commit the same should suffer its consequences.” 

The country’s Anti-Terrorism Council has labeled the communist party as a terrorist group, but a Manila Court recently issued a ruling declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA as a legitimate political movement.  

Mr. Remulla earlier said the DoJ would take its plea seeking to declare the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group before the Court of Appeals. — John Victor D. Ordoñez