- Presidential spokesperson said not all members of Reds’ legal fronts will be arrested
- He said only those conspiring with NPA to rebel and commit terrorism would be arrested
- He also said it is up to the DOJ to pin down the liable legal fronts
MANILA, Philippines – Explaining President Rodrigo Duterte’s arrest order for all members of communist ‘legal fronts’, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said only those in conspiracy with the New People’s Army to commit rebellion and terrorism may be arrested.
“The President as public prosecutor has said that conspiracy is sufficient basis to accuse them of both rebellion and acts of terrorism; because in a conspiracy the act of one is the act of all. Even if they did not physically take up arms, if they’re part of a conspiracy to commit acts of terror or rebellion, then they can be held liable under the theory of conspiracy,” InterAksyon quoted him as saying.
Allaying fears of a widespread purge, Roque said authorities will focus on leftist organizations found to be conspiring with the NPA—like the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for example.
“Only what the President described as the legal front of the NPA (New People’s Army) –CPP-NPA–the legal front, and we leave it at that because those were the words used by the President. He will be advised by security forces on which of these legal fronts should be charged with conspiracy,” he said.
The presidential spokesperson added that Duterte’s latest announcement was just his way of venting his frustration at the communist rebels’ seeming insincerity to hold peace talks.
“So napikon na po ang Presidente. Nais niya talagang magkaroon ng kapayapaan, nakipag-usap siya. Pero habang nakipag-usap, wala pong hupa ang pag-aatake ng NPA,” he said.
[So the President has had it. He really wants to have peace, he has talked to them. But while they were talking, the NPA has not stopped its attacks.]