Some progressive groups have questioned a bill that aims to disqualify party-list groups that the state red-tags as “directly” or “indirectly” acting against the government’s interest or allegedly involved to the rebels.
Senate Bill 201, as filed by Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa this July 7th, wants to ban the following groups:
- groups that involve children, youth, and “disadvantaged” members of society to carry out violent or illegal activities
- groups that directly or indirectly participate in activities “detrimental to the best interest of the government”
- groups with a relationship with rebels or designated or proscribed terrorist persons or groups under Republic Act 11479 or Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
The purpose of the proposal is to amend Republic Act 7941 or Party-list System Act, which provides representation to marginalized groups and sectors in the House.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA), and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) were initially designated as “terrorists” by the Anti-Terrorism Council. The designation will trigger the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s authority to freeze assets believed to be financing terrorism.
Bato dela Rosa wants to ban party-lists fighting the gov’t
Despite this, the membership of the CPP-NPA-NDFP is still legal because, among others, the “prescription” process under R.A. 11479. It can be recalled that the CPP became legal when the Anti-Subversion Law was repealed in 1992.
“[T]here have been party list groups which have successfully entered the Halls of the House of Representatives which perpetuate radical, and oppressive principles in their platform of governance,” said Dela Rosa in the explanatory note of the proposal.
“It is time to finally put an end to the exploitation of the Party List System. Let us restore the dignity of this system as originally intended by the framers of the 1987 Constitution.”
No party-list directly named Dela Rosa in the explanatory note of SB 201. Despite this, Dela Rosa previously referred to the Kabataan party-list (which is a member of the Makabayan bloc) in Committee Report No. 10 in the 18th Congress as one of the “legal fronts” of the CPP-NPA-NDFP.
“Obviously, Senator Dela Rosa is trying to target the Makabayan bloc with his bill as it includes the NTF-ELCAC’s script of baseless red-tagging against the progressive party-lists,” said ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, Friday.