Now that the National Democratic Front has been officially tagged as a terrorist group, the Philippine National Police expressed optimism that NDF members will no longer be able to circumvent the law to evade arrest.
CPP-NPA members and leaders are a dime a dozen and they all claim that they are peace talks consultants just to avoid getting arrested, PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar said on Wednesday. “With the declaration of the NDF as a terrorist group, these people will no longer have an excuse and our operations will be further strengthened to put an end to these groups that are sowing violence in the country,” he said in a statement.
Eleazar said the CPP-NPA-NDF is no longer focused on advocating an ideology but rather on pushing for armed conflict through threats, intimidation, extortion, and attacks that included civilians as casualties.
He cited the case of college football player Kieth Absalon and his cousin who died in an NPA ambush in Masbate and the death of watchman Eldrin Daraman who was killed when the communist terrorists attacked a construction site in Surigao del Sur.
The PNP supports this declaration and our countrymen can continue to count on an aggressive campaign so that we can achieve the real peace and development that these groups are hindering,” the PNP chief said.
In Resolution No. 21 dated June 23, 2021, the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) chaired by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the NDF is an integral part of the CPP-NPA.
“Article IX of the 2016 CPP Constitution shows the command, lead and guidance of the CPP over the NPA, while Article X shows that the NDF (a.k.a. NDF of the Philippines) is the core and the most consolidated group that provides support to the armed and organizational expansion of the CPP-NPA,” the resolution read.
The resolution also said the “direct and indispensable role of the NDF in armed operations“ has been repeatedly confirmed by CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, including the latest when he identified the CPP-NPA as allied organizations of the NDF in his message for the NDF’s 48th anniversary in April.
Sison and his wife, Juliet, who is the interim chairperson of the NDF negotiating panel, were previously designated as terrorists, too.
On Monday, the Anti-Money Laundering Council also issued a freeze order on all assets of the NDF following its designation as a terrorist organization.
The AMLC’s freeze order under Resolution No. TF-42 covers property or funds that are owned or controlled by NDF, which is also known as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP); property or funds that are wholly or jointly owned or controlled, directly or indirectly by the terrorist group; property or funds derived or generated from NDF funds; and property or funds of persons and entities acting in behalf of the NDF.
In a related development, Eleazar welcomed reports on the reduction in the number of communist guerilla fronts and the continuous surrender of communist rebels in Southern Mindanao.
According to Philippine Army 10th Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Ernesto Torres, the number of communist armed groups in southern Mindanao has been reduced from 23 to just six.
Data from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) indicated that a total of 18,433 communist rebels have surrendered to the government since 2016, including 92 “child soldiers”.
Eleazar said this could be attributed to the intensified anti-communist insurgency campaign of the Duterte administration.
Eleazar said this latest development would motivate the police and the military to strive harder in ending the communist insurgency.
He also urged the remaining rebels to lay down their arms, return to the fold of the law, and avail of reintegration and livelihood programs being offered by the government.
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.