NDF designation as terrorist org long overdue, NTF-ELCAC insists

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BAGUIO CITY (July 20, 2021)—The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) said the designation of the National Democratic Front (NDF) as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) over its proven ties with Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) is long overdue.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. while reiterating that the long overdue terrorist designation of the NDF said, “matagal na silang pumorporma diyan na legal. Ngunit sa katotohanan, ay sila naman ang talagang nagpoprotekta sa nagiging source ng recruitments (to the NPA and armed struggle). Kaya makikita natin kung paano yung relasyon ng NDF sa CPP at saka NPA.” 

Esperon continued, “Balikan natin yung video ni Jose Maria Sison noong April 23 sa Anniversary ng NDF, di ba sinabi niya doon kung sino ang kanilang affiliated organizations—18 underground mass organizations na nagpapatakbo ng mga front organizations. Iyon ang koneksyon!”

Esperon also stressed that it was the CPP that formed the NDF in 1973, noting that “officials of the NDF, are in fact, members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and if not, being Central Committee members themselves. So, it’s just right that we designate them as a terrorist organization.” 

The NTF-ELCAC Vice-Chairman also said that  CPP founder Jose Maria Sison already revealed their allies in their armed struggle to overthrow the government, such as the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), and GABRIELA, among others. 

“We recall the message of Jose Maria Sison, which I would like to call as the master witness or even as the master red-tagger. Because it was him, in 1987, who named their allies in their national democratic revolution or the armed revolution,” Esperon said.   

With the ATC designation in place, the government can now legally freeze assets of the NDF through the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), according to Dir. Gen. Alex Monteagudo of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).  

“The AMLC is now conducting its own investigation before it will issue a freeze order for any identified accounts of any of those who were designated, including the 20 individuals and NDF organizations,” he said.  “Before a freeze order is issued, the AMLC has to deliberate on these accounts based on the investigation. It is not just a whim of the council but it has to go through due process.”

Monteagudo also lauded the ATC resolution saying that the CPP-NPA-NDF is just one organization, with the CPP as the core organization that created the NPA and the NDF. “Matagal na dapat iyan,” he said. 

According to the five-page ATC Resolution No. 2021 signed on June 23, 2021 and released on Monday, July 19, the ATC “found probable cause warranting the designation of the NDF a.k.a. NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) as a terrorist group of persons, organization, or association for having committed, or attempting to commit, or conspire in the commission of the acts defined and penalized under Sections, 7, 10, and 12 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).” 

The ATC said the NDF is organized, controlled, acting on behalf of or at the direction of, and operated by the CPP, which was also designated as a terrorist organization under ATC Resolution No. 12 (2020).

It further cited Sison as the one who specifically identified the CPP-NPA as allied organizations of the NDF in his message for the NDF’s 48th anniversary in April 2021.

“Members of the NDF a.k.a. NDFP continue to lure and/or recruit people to join the NPA, while the CPP itself admitted and maintained, through public media releases as well as in CPP documents and revelations of former members, the direct and indispensable role of the NDF a.k.a. NDFP in its armed operations,” it added.

A request for delisting may be filed before the ATC within 15 days from publication of the designation.
Artemio A. Dumlao