Anti-Terrorism Council designates CPP/NPA as terrorist organizations

The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), created under Republic Act No. 11479 or the ‘Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020’ (ATA), designated the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) also known as Bagong Hukbong Bayan (CPP/NPA) as Terrorist Organizations, Associations, and/or Groups of Persons through Resolution No. 12 (2020) signed December 9, 2020.

Under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, “the ATC may designate an individual, groups of persons, organization, or association, whether domestic or foreign, upon a finding of probable cause that the individual, groups of persons, organization, or association commit, or attempt to commit, or conspire in the commission of the acts defined and penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of” the ATA.

The ATC said in the resolution that in February 2018 the National Prosecution Service (NPS) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition before the Regional Trial Court Branch 19 in Manila to declare CPP/NPA as terrorist and outlawed organizations, associations, and/or group of persons pursuant to Section 17 of Republic Act No. 9372, otherwise known as the Human Security Act of 2007.

ATC said that “among the grounds relied upon in the petition is that the CPP and NPA were organized for the purpose of engaging in terrorism and, for almost half a century, have been and are still using acts of terror to sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace in order to overthrow the duly constituted authorities and seize control of the Philippine Government through armed struggle.”

It explained that the “filing of the said 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.”

It also noted that President Rodrigo Duterte issued Presidential Proclamation No. 374 declaring CPP/NPA as designated/identified terrorist organizations under Section 3 (e)(1) of Republic Act No. 10168, otherwise known as ‘The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012,’ which states that among the designated persons are “any person or entity designated and/or identified as a terrorist, one who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization or group under the applicable United Nations Security Council resolution or by another jurisdiction or supranational jurisdiction”

The ATC added in the resolution that the United States, European Union, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand have designated CPP/NPA as foreign terrorist organization (FTO).

“The ATC, by virtue of the powers vested in us by Section 45 of ATA and pursuant to paragraph 3 of Section 25 of the ATA, finds probable cause that the CPP/NPA committed or conspired to commit the acts defined and penalized under Section 4 of the ATA and hereby designates the CPP/NPA as terrorist organizations, associations or groups of persons,” says in the ATC resolution.

In a statement, the ATC said that the designation of the CPP/NPA is without prejudice to its pending proscription case.

“In effect, the designation places the assets of the CPP/NPA 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. 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,” it added.