Groups of parents and other anti-communist organizations condemned the acquittal of about 15 leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) from their alleged involvement in the “Inopacan Massacre” in Leyte 31 years ago.
Members of League of Parents of the Philippines (LPP) or the Liga ng mga Magulang Liga Independencia Pilipinas (LIPI), Sulong Maralita, Hands Off Our Children (HOOC), and Yakap ng Magulang, staged a marching rally along Morayta Street in Manila City on Wednesday to express their disappointment to Manila City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 32 Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina.
“We, as parents, strongly condemned the decision of Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina by dismissing it by mere technicality,” LPP chair Remy Rosadio said during the protest rally. “With these, the people’s faith on the justice system has eroded and the only way for it to be restored is by giving full justice to the victims of the Inopacan Massacre.”
Rosadio said the decision may increase the morale of the New People’s Army (NPA), the CPP’s armed wing, to continue their atrocities, such as extortion, recruiting more minors, and indigenous people.
She said the CPP-NPA-NDF and its allies might be manipulating the court system that resulted in the acquittal of the communist leaders.
Meanwhile, LIPI President Jose Antonio Goitia described the Manila RTC’s decision as “regrettable” and a major setback to the country’s fight against communist insurgency.
“The setback does not rule out the possibility that the CPP-NPA-NDF is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” Goitia said.
He said the court’s decision would not stop them from seeking justice for the Inocupan Massacre victims.
During the protest rally, the groups burned the effigy of CPP founder Joma Sison and the symbols of the party-list fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF, to convey their condemnation of the communist revolution and push for “senseless” insurgency.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.