NUPL blasts proposed ‘outlaw’ bill

September 5, 2022

A lawyers group has opposed a measure that would outlaw the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front and all other organizations that support their recruitment, operations and financial transactions.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers stressed that proposed measure is “objectively a bigoted and repressive ill-conceived piece of legislation that dressed up the pernicious fixation of red tagging even as it unduly and dangerously extends the reach of the already draconian Anti-Terrorism Act.”

The measure — known as House Bill 4324 filed by Duterte Youth Partylist Representative Drixie Mae Cardema — seeks to provide a strong legal measure to support the government, state troops and the millions of peace-loving Filipinos in securing the society from the said terrorist activities.”

Under the bill, those who continue to be a member of the CPP-NPA-NDF and any organization that supports them will be punished with imprisonment, have their properties confiscated, and disqualified from holding public office.

However, NUPL president Edre Olalia stressed the bill is “a crude attempt to circumvent evidentiary rules and standards.”

“The bill is inherently infirm as it is replete with badges of a bill of attainder despite the token formality of supposed judicial oversight and determination of guilt, especially with the unilateral particularization of specific organizations,” Olalia said.

He added that the proposed measure is “riddled with legally illiterate deficiencies as it uses a lower standard of proof — for example, prima facie — instead of probable cause.”

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