CPP/NPA and Islamic State East Asia and Associated Groups Designated as Terrorist Groups
The Anti-Terrorism Council or ATC, in its meeting on December 9, 2020, approved Resolutions 12 and 13, designating as terrorist groups the CPP/NPA, and the Islamic State East Asia, Maute Group, Daulah Islamiyah, and associated groups, respectively. The designation is in accordance with Section 25 paragraph 3 of RA 11479 or The Anti–Terrorism Act of 2020 and relevant provisions of its Implementing Rules and Regulations pertaining to domestic designation of terrorist groups based on probable cause consistent with RA 10168 or The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act.
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.
Significantly, both RAs 11479 and 10168 complement each other in addressing the serious terrorism threat in the country posed by the CPP/NPA, and the Islamic State East Asia, Maute Group, Daulah Islamiyah, and associated groups. For one, the CPP/NPA, which has been engaged in violent and destructive activities for the last five decades, is now answerable to the applicable provisions of the country’s more responsive laws. The ATC found probable cause to designate the CPP/NPA as a terrorist group for its violent and armed activities that resulted in the destruction of properties, loss of lives, and damage to business and economy as cited in the pending proscription case and other collated reports from the security and intelligence sector.
The CPP/NPA also employs deception, threats, and violence to be able to raise funds through unlawful exaction of money, extortion, collection of so-called permit-to-campaign (PTC) and permit-to-win (PTW) fees during the campaign period and soliciting material support from international NGOs under the guise of being a pro-people and humanitarian organization. From 2016 to 2019, the CPP/NPA extorted around P5.5B in ‘revolutionary taxes.’
The ATC designation of the CPP/NPA is the latest among other countries which previously listed the same as a terrorist organization, such as the US in 2002, followed by Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Similarly, the Islamic State East Asia and its local affiliates have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State with the goal of establishing a caliphate in the country through violent means, which culminated in the failed Marawi siege in 2017. These groups named by the National Intelligence Committee (NIC) are the following: (1) Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in South-East Asia,(2) Dawlatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Masrik, (3) Dawlatul Islamiyyah Waliyatul Mashriq, (4) IS East Asia Division, (5) Maute Group, (6) Islamic State East Asia, (7) Maute ISIS, (8) Grupong ISIS, (9) Grupo ISIS, (10) Khilafah Islamiyah, (11) KIM, (12) Ansharul Khilafah, (13) Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters-Bungos, (14) Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters-Abubakar, (15) Jama’atu al-Muhajirin wal Ansar fil Filibin, (16) Daulah Islamiyah, and (17) other Daesh-affiliated groups in the Philippines.
The collated information from members of the NIC and the terrorist list of the UN Security Council, together with the previous designation of the same violent extremist groups by the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, provided the well-founded ground that said groups are engaged in terrorist activities. Section 25 paragraph 1 of the Anti-Terrorism Act provides that “Pursuant to our obligation under United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 1373, the ATC shall automatically adopt the United Nations Security Council Consolidated List of designated individuals, group of persons, organizations, or associations designated and /or identified as a terrorist, one who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization or group.” Their ATC designation will also serve as a basis for the AMLC to investigate their properties and fund support, both domestic and international, and freeze them according to RA 10168.
Lessons from many countries show that “terrorism threatens both the rule of law and the fundamental freedoms of citizens and entire societies” (UNODC). In direct opposition to this objective of terrorist groups to erode our people’s freedoms, the ATC sees to it that our counterterrorism measures, such as the foregoing designations, uphold the rule of law.