‘Another win vs terrorism’:
DOJ secures conviction of key CPP-NPA member

22 May 2024

The Department of Justice (DOJ) scored another victory against terrorism after securing the conviction of a notorious member of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) who led a series of attacks against military personnel and communication facilities in Quezon province in 2005.

In a decision promulgated last 16 May 2024, the Taguig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 266 found Maria Salome Crisostomo, also known as Maria Salome Crisostomo Ujano, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rebellion.

The Court sentenced Ujano to suffer the Indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years of prision mayor as minimum, to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal as maximum.

Court records show that on separate incidents from 19 to 25 November 2005 in Quezon province, Ujano and several others identified as officers and members of the CPP-NPA
led attacks against State forces, killing/wounding several soldiers, destroying communication sites and various government properties.

During the trial, Ujano testified she has no connection with the NPA and alleged that from 19 to 25 November 2005, she was not in the vicinity or near Quezon Province, that she was at St. Scholastica College, Leon Guinto, Malate, Manila.

In its decision, the Court said, “Evidently, members of the NPA took up arms against the armed forces who act on behalf of the Government. Further, the NPA also shouted “Mabuhay ang CPP-NPA,” “Mabuhay ang Kilusan,” and relayed to the armed forces for them to surrender. Taken altogether, the actions of the NPA members constitute acts of rebellion.”

Prosecution witnesses recognized some members of the NPA during the encounter, Ujano, among others, being one of the most wanted CPP-NPA members posted in the bulletin in their camps.

Judge Marivic C. Vitor in her decision further stated, “Positive identification where categorical and consistent and without any showing of ill
motive on the part of the eyewitness testifying on the matter, prevails over a denial which, if not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence is negative and self-serving  evidence undeserving of weight in law.”

The Court finds that the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of the accused Ujano beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rebellion.

Remulla lauded the DOJ for this accomplishment. “I salute the
zealousness and perseverance of the DOJ Task Force on Counter-Terrorism and Terrorism Financing led by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor (SDSP)  Peter L. Ong and team: Senior Assistant State Prosecutor (SASP) Rodan G. Parrocha, Assistant State Prosecutor (ASP) Eric C. Opriasa, Prosecution Attorneys (PAs) Heger Jasper A. Balderama, Jose Rafael Cruz and Victor G. Dalanao, Jr. for successfully prosecuting the case which led to the conviction of Ujano.”

“We stood united once again in the face of sinister terrorists and conquered this menace by our resilience and unity. We will never back down against such evil who continue to destabilize the government and sow discord and division. This is the very guarantee we can give our country and people,” Remulla vowed.

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