Anti-Terror Council tags 11 individuals as terrorists

A protester wearing a facemask as protection from the coronavirus takes part in a protest over the newly approved anti-terror law on July 4, 2020 in Quezon Xity, Metro Manila, Philippines. The Anti-Terror Council (ATC) branded 11 people with alleged links to terror groups in two resolutions signed in May but only published on June 15, 2022. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
A protester wearing a facemask as protection from the coronavirus takes part in a protest over the newly approved anti-terror law on July 4, 2020 in Quezon Xity, Metro Manila, Philippines. The Anti-Terror Council (ATC) branded 11 people with alleged links to terror groups in two resolutions signed in May but only published on June 15, 2022. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)

Former National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni has been tagged as a terrorist by the Anti-Terror Council (ATC), along with 10 other persons with alleged links with the Communist Party of the Philippines - New Peoples’ Army (CPP-NPA), Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), and Daulah Islamiyah (DI).

ATC Resolution No. 31 signed on May 25 but only released on June 15 designated, along with Jalandoni, a certain Simon Naugsa, Afrecia or Apricia Alvarez or Alvarez Rosete, Maria Luisa Purcray, Maria Gigi Ascano-Tenebroso, and Walter Alipio de Asis Cerbito.

Meanwhile, ATC Resolution No. 32 designated as terrorist alleged members of ASG and DI Basaron Arok or Basarun Aruk, Ellam Sajirin or Ellam Nasirin or Ellam Nasarin or Illam Nasirin, Madjid Said or Majid Said, Mura Asgali Kawayan, and Tawakkal Bayali or Tawakal Bayali or Tawakkal Abugaw Bayali or Tawwakal Bayali.

The ATC, as per the Anti-Terrorism Act or Republic Act No. 11479, has the power to designate individuals or groups as terrorists upon determination of probable cause. A terror tag would require the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to freeze the assets of the groups or individuals on the ATC list.

“Probable cause in designation refers to a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances warranting a cautious person to believe a proposed designation meets the requirements of designation,” the ATC said in a statement.

“Without doubt, the designation, in coordination with the AMLC, serves as an effective tool to deny terrorists from obtaining financial and material support for their terrorist activities,” the ATC further pointed out.

The council first designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization, along with Sison and other NDF peace negotiators.

The Anti-Terror Law, essentially upheld by the Supreme Court as constitutional, was feared by government critics and dissenters as a law that would stifle and criminalize dissent.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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