VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Badoy errs in claiming NDF tagged as terror group by PH, other countries

Read this fact check in Filipino

Communications Undersecretary for New Media and External Affairs Lorraine Marie Badoy wrongly claimed the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has been tagged as a terrorist group by the Philippine government and other countries.

During the second ASEAN (Association for Southeast Asian Nations) Conference on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Thailand on Feb. 27, she said the NDFP, the legal front of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), has “targeted” the youth sector and has taught young Filipinos “hate and mistrust towards the government.”

Badoy, who also serves as the country’s leader in the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting Responsible for Information, then claimed the CPP, its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA), and the NDFP have been declared as terrorist organizations in the country and other nations, including the United States.

This was a repeat of her claim in previous Facebook posts and opinion articles published on the government’s web-based newswire service provider, the Philippine News Agency.

Badoy's claim, however, is partly wrong: the NDFP has been declared a terrorist organization neither by the Philippine government nor by the other countries she mentioned.

Watch this video.

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Badoy errs in claiming NDF tagged as terror group by PH, other countries from VERA Files on Vimeo.

The CPP-NPA (excluding NDFP) has been included in the official list of terrorist groups of the U.S, the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Badoy’s claim that the CPP-NPA has been proclaimed a terrorist organization in the Philippines, however, needs context.

Although President Rodrigo Duterte has, indeed, made such a declaration in 2017 through Proclamation No. 374, the CPP-NPA has not yet been legally declared as a terrorist group by Philippine courts.

Sec. 17 of Republic Act 9372, or the Human Security Act (HSA), requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to first file a petition before a “competent Regional Trial Court” to declare an “organization, association, or group of persons” as a terrorist organization before it is considered as such.

The DOJ has already filed a petition in 2018 at the Manila Regional Trial Court following the president’s directive, but the court has yet to decide on the case.

In February, the Manila RTC revived DOJ’s petition after it was junked due to the failure of the department to "serve summons to case respondents,” including the CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, “by publication.”

Should the court rule in the government’s favor, persons and entities suspected to be associated with the CPP-NPA may be put under surveillance, have their assets frozen, or even detained without charges. (See VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Why 'red-tagging' is dangerous)

In a move to “strengthen” the government’s campaign against terrorism, the Senate recently passed on third and final reading Senate Bill 1083, which seeks to amend some provisions of the HSA, such as extending the allowed period of detention of persons who have not yet been charged. (See VERA FILES FACT SHEET: What you need to know about the Senate’s Anti-Terrorism bill)


Sources

Presidential Communications Operations Office Global Media Affairs, ASEAN Member States discussion about cyberspace misuse, Feb. 28, 2020

Philippine News Agency, The poisoned pen of Tonyo Cruz, Jan. 25, 2020

Philippine News Agency, The Pied Piper of Death aka Anakbayan 101, Jan. 15, 2020

Lorraine Marie Badoy official Facebook account, Breaking News , March 2, 2020

List of organizations declared as terrorist by several countries

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Duterte declares CPP-NPA a terrorist group, Dec. 5, 2017

Official Gazette, Proclamation No. 374, series of 2017

Duterte tagging NDFP as a terrorist organization

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Media Interview - Cagayan de Oro City 2/5/2017, Feb. 9, 2017

GMA News Online, Court junks then revives petition to tag CPP, NPA as terrorist organizations, Feb. 11, 2020

Philippine News Agency, Court orders revival of DOJ bid to declare CPP-NPA terror group, Feb. 10, 2020

Manila Standard, CPP-NPA terror tag revival OKd by Manila RTC, Feb. 11, 2020

Official Gazette, Republic Act No. 9372

Senate of the Philippines official website, Senate Bill No. 1083


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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