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Anti-Terrorism Council declares CPP-NPA as terrorist groups, enemies of the state

The Duterte administration sprung a Christmas Day “gift” on the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People's Army (CPP-NPA) on the eve of their anniversary, as the newly formed Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) passed a resolution formally declaring the leftists as enemies of the state and designating them as terrorist groups.

Anti-Terrorism Council declares CPP-NPA as terrorist groups, enemies of the state

"Alea iacta est (The die is cast). A decision has been made,” the ATC said in a statement Friday, adding it “perfectly describes their current situation.”

The CPP-NPA will mark its 52nd founding anniversary on Dec. 26, but the ATC said: “For years it gained ill-repute for its acts of violence, through various forms of deception and multiple means of threatening persons and civilization.”

Headed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as chairman with National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon as vice chairman, the ATC was formed by virtue of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last July.

The CPP and its armed wing the NPA are now described as terrorists under the ATC along with the Islamic State East Asia, Maute Group, Daulah Islamiyah, “and other groups associated with their acts of terror,” the council said.

The communists’ designation as a terror group was made official with an announcement printed in a national newspaper on Friday.

“Pretending to work for the betterment of the community, the CPP-NPA is able to receive support from international Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to raise funds and continue perpetuating its rebellious deeds. By striking fear through violence, they also employ extortion and collection of fees during campaign periods. CPP-NPA has been tagged in numerous election-related encounters,” it added.

The council claimed that from 2016 to 2019, the CPP-NPA extorted around P5.5 billion in “revolutionary taxes.”

“But now, being designated as terrorists, its assets subject to the authority of the Anti-Money Laundering Council or AMLC to investigate or freeze the same pursuant to Section 11 of RA 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act. 

Section 8 of RA 10168 provides that any person “who knowingly deals with any property or funds of designated persons or makes available any property or funds or financial services or other related services to such designated persons faces criminal and civil liability.”

“Their decades-long armed struggle and recruitment of the youth to join them may come to a halt with the release of Resolution Number 12 (2020) which makes their designation as a terrorist organization official,” the ATC said.

The designation, the council said, is in accordance with Section 25 paragraph 3 of RA 11479 and relevant provisions of its Implementing Rules and Regulations pertaining to domestic designation of terrorist groups, based on probable cause consistent with RA 10168.

Under the resolution, the ATC found probable cause that the CPP-NPA “committed or conspired to commit the acts defined and penalized under Section 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (ATA), thereby designating them as terrorist organizations, associations or groups of persons.”

The ATC also found probable cause to designate the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group “for its violent and armed activities that resulted in the destruction of properties, loss of lives, and damage to business and economy, as cited in the pending proscription case and other collated reports from the security and intelligence sector.”

A petition of the National Prosecution Service (NPS) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) cited in the resolution mentioned 12 incidents which constitute “terrorist acts of murder, kidnapping, and arson.”

These would prove that the CPP-NPA “continues to commit acts of terror to sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace in order to coerce the Philippine Government to give in to its unlawful demand, i.e., for the CPP-NPA to overthrow the duly constituted authorities and seize control of the Philippine Government,” the ATC said.

Similar terrorist acts are continuously committed by the CPP-NPA in different parts of the country up to the present, the council asserted.

Moreover, the filing of the petition by the NPS-DOJ “clearly established the existence of probable cause that the CPP-NPA committed, or attempted to commit, or conspired in the commission of the acts defined and penalized by the ATA.”

The ATC designation of the CPP-NPA is the latest among other countries which previously listed the same as a terrorist organization, such as the United States in 2002, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Anti-Terrorism Council declares CPP-NPA as terrorist groups, enemies of the state

The ATC was formed to implement the ATA and assume the responsibility for the proper and effective implementation of the policies of the country against terrorism.

"In direct opposition to this objective of terrorist groups to erode our people’s freedoms, the ATC sees to it that our counterterrorism measures, such as the foregoing designations, uphold the rule of law," ATC said. 

Topics: Communist Party of the Philippines , New People's Army , Anti-Terrorism Council
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