By RAYMUND VILLANUEVA
MANILA — Lawyers have asked the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 to dismiss the petition against former Representative Saturnino “Satur” Ocampo in connection with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) move to have the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) proscribed as terrorist organizations.
In a notice of special appeArance filed Wednesday, March 20, the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) said the respondent in the DOJ petition were the CPP and the NPA and not Ocampo.
“Obviously, there is a material discrepancy between the statements in the summons and the allegations in the petition,” the PILC motion said.
“The summons indubitably designated movant Ocampo as a party respondent, in the stead of the actual respondents, the CPP and the NPA,” it added.
Ocampo was among hundreds listed in the DOJ petition as “known officers” of the CPP and the NPA the Rodrigo Duterte government wanted proscribed as terrorist organizations.
The PILC however denied Ocampo is a party to the instant [DOJ] proceeding.
“The Honorable Court cannot indulge on the drastically erroneous premise that movant is a respondent, as there is no basis whatsoever to implead him,” the PILC said.
The lawyers said Ocampo vehemently denies he is an officer, a member or even a representative the CPP and the NPA and therefore has no legal, vested, material interest insofar as the petition for proscription of the CPP and NPA is concerned.
In the PILC motion’s prefatory statement, Ocampo said, “I am Saturnino Ocampo. Journalist. I am NOT a terrorist.”
PILC said Ocampo cannot be made party to the instant proceeding against the CPP and the NPA that are entities with personalities separate from his.
“[N]othing in the [DOJ] petition and its annexes indicate that movant Saturnino Ocampo is indeed an officer, member or representative of the CPP and NPA,” PILC said.
The PILC said annexes to the DOJ petition naming Ocampo as one of the members of the CPP Central Committee were all issued in 2006 and has also failed to prove he still remains as member or officer of the CPP and the NPA.
Ocampo served as Bayan Muna Representative in the 12th to 14th Congress in 2001 to 2010. He currently serves as the chairperson of the Makabayan Coalition that has seven representatives in the 17th Congress.
Ocampo’s lawyers have also denied he has committed any terrorist act.
“It is respectfully prayed of the Honorable Court that the instant Petition BE DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction over the person of movant Saturnino Ocampo and for failure of the petition to state a cause of action against him,” PILC said.