Anti-terror law takes effect today

Maris Federez   •   July 18, 2020   •   887

MANILA, Philippines – Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 takes effect today, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Friday (July 17), even in the absence of implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

Guevarra said the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) becomes effective 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette and national newspapers on July 3.

Read: Duterte signs Anti-Terrorism bill into law

“The effectivity clause of the Anti-Terrorism Act states that the Act shall take effect 15 days after its publication in the official gazette or in at least two newspapers of general circulation. Considering that the law was published on July 3, it will take effect on July 18, which is the 15th day,” Guevarra told reporters on Friday as he rectified an earlier statement that the law would take effect on Sunday (July 19).

When asked why the law will take effect sans the IRR, Guevarra said, “the promulgation of the IRR is not a condition for the effectivity of the law.”

He added that some provisions of the ATA are self-executing such as the organization of the Anti-Terrorism Council.

The IRR will be drafted in consultation with law enforcement agencies and the military, and will be ready within 90 days, he said.

“But there are provisions where operational details need to be spelled out or standards clearly defined in the IRR for proper implementation of the law,” Guevarra also pointed out.

The DOJ chief stressed that “it will be more prudent for law enforcement agents to await the promulgation of the IRR.”

Once the draft has been approved, the secretary said “the IRR will likewise have to be published when it is done.”

“The DOJ and the Anti-Terrorism Council, in consultation with law enforcement agencies and military institutions, will promulgate the IRR for the implementation of the anti-terrorism law,” Guevarra said.

Various groups have filed several petitions before the Supreme Court against the Anti-Terrorism Act, seeking for issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) on its implementation pending a resolution of questions regarding its constitutionality.

Read: More petitions vs. Anti-Terrorism Act filed in SC

Read: Palace on petitions vs. Anti-Terrorism Law: Leave it to Supreme Court

Among the groups who filed the petition before the High Court were that of lawyer Howard Calleja, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, law dean Mel Sta. Maria, and the Makabayan bloc led by Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate. — /mbmf

AMLC issues freeze order on assets, funds related to NDFP

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has issued a freeze order on accounts and assets related to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) after the anti-terrorism council (ATC) designated it as a terrorist group.

“The AMLC issued Resolution No. TF-42, series of 2021 directing the issuance of Sanctions Freeze Order to take effect immediately against the National Democratic Front (NDF), also known as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), pursuant to its designation as terrorist by the ATC Resolution No. 21 dated June 23, and the freezing without delay of the following property or funds, including related accounts,” the AMLC said in a notice posted on its website.

The ATC earlier designated the NDF as a terror group, citing is as an “integral and inseparable part” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army since 1973.

The AMLC said the freeze order covers property or funds that are owned or controlled by the NDF, and its “not limited to those that are directly related or can be tied to a particular terrorist act, plot, or threat.”

Also covered are property or funds that are “wholly or jointly owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the NDF.”

Property or funds derived or generated from funds or other assets owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the NDF; and property or funds of persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the NDF, are also covered by the freeze order.

The AMLC said that any person, whether natural or juridical, including covered persons, private companies, government owned or controlled corporations, and government agencies and instrumentalities shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law pursuant to Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (TFPSA) if they are found:

  • Dealing directly or indirectly, in any way and by any means, with any property or fund that he knows or has reasonable ground to believe is owned or controlled by the NDF, also known as the NDFP, including funds derived or generated from property or funds owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the NDF

 

  • Making available any property or funds, or financial services or other related services to the NDF

“All covered persons are mandated to submit as Suspicious Transaction Report all previous transactions of the NDF, also known as the NDFP, within five days from effectivity of this order,” the AMLC said.

“All persons, organizations, associations or groups of persons whose property or funds are frozen, including related accounts are hereby informed that they may avail of the remedies under Republic Act No. 11479, otherwise known as Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations and under the TFPSA and its Implementing Rules and Regulations,” it added.

 

 

 

PH designates NDFP as terrorist organization

Marje Pelayo   •   July 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines  — The Philippine government, through the Anti-terrorism Council (ATC), has declared the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as a terrorist organization.

In a resolution dated June 23, 2021, the ATC said it found probable cause to designate the NDFP — also known as National Democratic Front (NDF) — “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 the Anti-terrorism Act of 2020 (ATA).”

According to the resolution, the ATC referred to the NDFP as an “integral and inseparable part” of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP/NPA) which was formally tagged as a terrorist group in December last year.

The NDFP’s designation follows the terrorist designation of CPP founder, Jose Maria Sison and his wife Juliet, by the ATC.

Moreover, the resolution said, Sison further highlighted NDF’s connection with the CPP/NPA when he identified the CPP/NPA as allied organizations of the NDFP in his message for the NDF’s 48th anniversary in April 2021.

 

 

 

 

Military backs Anti-Terrorism Council’s resolutions on terrorist tag

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday expressed support for the decision of the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) to publish resolutions designating some individuals as terrorists.

“The AFP supports the Anti-Terrorism Council’s Resolution Nos. 16 and 17 which designate 10 local terrorist group individuals and 19 CPP-NPA members as terrorists,” AFP chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana said in a statement.

“The military organization further conveys its full confidence to the ATC’s decision which was carried out based on verified and validated information,” he added.

The ATC published on Thursday Resolution No. 17, designating 19 alleged leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army as terrorists.

The council also listed as terrorists in Resolution No. 16 ten members of different local terrorist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and the Daulah Islamiyah.

These individuals are accused of conspiring, planning, and preparing for the commission of terrorism, covered by Sections 6, 7, and 10 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

With this development, the AFP said it will be able to further protect the public citizens from terrorist acts by closely working together with government law enforcement agencies and focusing resources to bring the mentioned personalities to justice.

“We are optimistic that the ATC’s resolution will continue to empower government, under the rule of law, to eradicate terrorism in our country, and maintain a peaceful and progressive nation for every Filipinos,” Sobejana said.

Under the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020, the ATC has the authority to designate individuals, groups of individuals, organizations, or associations as terrorists without a court hearing.

This measure will allow the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze the assets of designated personalities or organizations.

Persons designated as terrorists have 15 days to file a request for delisting.

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