Philippines asks court to declare communist rebels a terrorist organization

The Philippines asked a court to declare the Communist Party and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), a terrorist organization on Wednesday. The move dashes already faint hopes of a recovery in a tattered peace process, Reuters said. The petition before a Manila regional trial court seeks to formally terminate peace talks with Maoist rebels. It came a week after a Norwegian diplomat met President Rodrigo Duterte to try to convince him to restart negotiations that Duterte had scrapped in anger at what he considers “duplicity” by the communists. Manila has a state policy to not negotiate with any group defined as terrorists, like the Abu Sayyaf militants behind extremism, kidnapping, banditry and piracy. The US has listed Abu Sayyaf and the NPA as terrorist organizations since the early 2000s.