The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has designated Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison and top National Democratic Front peace consultants Vicente Ladlad, Adelberto Silva, Rafael Baylosis, Wilma Tiamzon, and Benito Tiamzon and the New People’s Army as “terrorists.”
Also listed in the ATC resolution are Jorge Madlos, Julieta De Lima Sison, Rey Claro Cera Casambre, Abdias Guadiana, Alan Valera Jazmines, Adelberto Albayalde, Ma. Concepcion Araneta-Bocala, Dionesio Micabolo, Myrna Sularte, Tirso Lagora Alcantara, Pedro Heyrona Codaste, Tomas Dominodo, Ma. Loida Tuzo Magpatoc and Menandro Villanueva.
Ten other members of different “local terrorist groups” who are allegedly members of the Abu Sayyaf Group were listed in a separate resolution.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., vice chairman of the ATC, signed Resolution Nos. 16 and 17 dated Feb. 24, 2021 and April 17, 2021 which were made public yesterday.
Esperon said the ATC has also identified 29 individuals designated as “terrorists.”
In Resolution No. 16, the top listed terror suspect is Esmael Abdulmalik, belonging to the Islamic State (IS).
Also tagged as terrorists in the resolution are nine other individuals affiliated with either the Dawlah Islamiya, Abu Sayyaf Group, or the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. These are Raden Abu, Esmael Abubakar, Muhiddin Animbang, Salahuddin Hassan, Radzmil Jannatul, Majan Sahidjuan, Faharudin Bonito Hadji Satar, Mudsrimar Sawadjaan, and Almujer Yadah.
In designating the 29 persons as terrorists, the ATC noted in the two resolutions that it “verified and validated information” and found “probable cause” in the process.
The 19 CPP members were found in violation of Sections 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. On the other hand, the 10 local terrorist group members were cited for violation of Sections 6, 7, and 10 of the same law.
The ATC’s power to determine probable cause in designating terrorists as provided for by ATA has made the law a contentious one.
The ATC resolution dated April 21 described the 19 individuals as “central committee members” of the CPP-NPA, the highest decision- and policy-making body of the CPP, which also supposedly leads and commands the NPA, “its main weapon in attaining the Party’s goal of overthrowing the duly-elected government by seizing and consolidating political power through violent means.”
The Department of Justice on Thursday said the 29 people designated as terrorists may also face other criminal charges, aside from violating the provisions of the ATA.
Justice Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand Sugay said these charges would be apart from the criminal cases already pending against many of the designated people.
He said the designation as terrorists paves the way for the Anti-Money Laundering Council to identify their assets and freeze them.
Also on Thursday, a member of the National Task Force-End Local Communist Armed Conflict said a spate of “reprisal killings” by the New People’s Army (NPA) claimed the lives of at least 20 indigenous peoples and tribal leaders in 2020.
In an interview over radio dzAR, the task force’s spokesperson on IP concerns, Gaye Florendo, said the victims were killed in front of their families and communities for refusing to join the communist movement.
Florendo, also an official of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, added that the slain IP members were either riddled with bullets or died of stab wounds. At least four of them had their eyes gouged out, she said.
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