By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA — The reinstatement of the anti-subversion law will lead to the natural death of the local armed communist insurgency movement, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.
PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the PNP fully supports the initiatives of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to restore the anti-subversion law that outlaws the Communist Party of the Philippines, the political arm of the terrorist New People’s Army.
He said the repeal of the law emboldened CPP-NPA to wage its campaign of terror across the country while at the same time strengthening its political base and legal fronts.
“Because the CPP-NPA employs violence and terrorism to advance its cause to topple the government, all its organizational components including ideological roots must be subject to the justice system as violations of law just like the criminal actions committed by armed fighters of the NPA,” Albayalde said in a statement.
By reviving this law, the country’s top cop said this would augment President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70 which is aimed at ending the communist insurgency in the Philippines.
“At the same time, an enabling law that criminalizes subversion augurs well with national objectives in support of Executive Order No. 70 to end the local communist armed conflict. Such law will allow the PNP to effectively implement legal offensive actions against the CPP/NPA/NDF and all the criminal, economic and organizational support systems that sustain its terrorist activities,” he noted.
“Criminalizing subversion will empower the government to exercise its inherent right to protect itself against forces that seek to bring it down,” he added.
Albayalde, however, said it would require “several studies” whether anti-subversion law will be more productive or become harmful.
The Anti-Subversion Act or Republic Act (RA) 1700 was passed in June 1957 during the presidency of Carlos P. Garcia. It declared the CPP illegal as an organized conspiracy to overthrow the government to establish in the Philippines a totalitarian regime.
During the martial law period, RA 1700 was expanded through Presidential Decree (PD) 885 in 1976 and PD 1835 in 1981. These decrees made it a subversive criminal act to be affiliated with a group and attend a meeting or take part in any activity meant to overthrow the government with the open or covert assistance and support of a foreign power.
During the time of President Corazon Aquino, she issued Executive Order 167, series of 1987 repealing PDs 1835 and 1975 and reviving RA 1700.
In 1992, then-President Fidel Ramos signed RA 7636 repealing RA 1700.
Under this law, subversion is no longer a criminal offense but sedition remained a crime. (PNA)