Wednesday, March 21, 2018
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Philippines seeks 'terrorist' tag for 600 alleged communist guerrillas

A UN special rapporteur, a former Philippine lawmaker and four former Catholic priests are among more than 600 alleged communist guerrillas the Philippines wants declared"terrorists", according to a government petition filed in court.
The justice ministry last month said it wanted a Manila court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA),"terrorist" bodies, but made no mention of individuals it would also target.
The petition, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, suggests President Rodrigo Duterte is following through on his threats to destroy a movement he now regards as duplicitous.
Within weeks of taking office in July 2016, Duterte freed some communist leaders and put leftists in his cabinet, to show his commitment to finding a permanent solution to a five-decade conflict.
But he abandoned the process in November, after what he called repeated attacks by the NPA during talks.
The petition said the rebels were"using acts of terror" to sow fear and panic to overthrow the government.
Duterte has been venting his fury at the Maoists almost on a daily basis and considers them as much of a security threat as a plethora of domestic Islamist militant groups that have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.