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Associated Press

Manila court rejects bid to declare rebels as terrorists

A Philippine court has dismissed a government petition to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed guerrilla wing as a terrorist organization in a decision that officials vowed to appeal but was welcomed by activists who have long rejected the labeling of rebels as terrorists. Manila regional trial court Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar’s ruling, signed Wednesday, is a legal victory for activists and government critics and a setback for security officials, who have long accused left-wing organizations of covertly serving as legal fronts for the Maoist guerrillas. The court asked the government to fight the communist insurgency, one of Asia’s longest, with “respect for the right to dissent, to due process and to the rule of law.”