THE Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has designated 29 individuals as terrorists in two resolutions published as a paid advertisement on a broadsheet in Metro Manila on Thursday, May 13, 2021.
ATC Resolution No. 16 tagged 10 members of different “local terrorist groups” who are allegedly members of the Abu Sayyaf Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Daulah Islamiyah.
Its Resolution No. 17 named National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF)-Communist Party of the Philippine (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison and his wife, and 17 of the CPP central committee members.
The resolutions were signed by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., concurrent vice chairman of the ATC.
In a statement, Sison, who is in self-exile in The Netherlands, said he and his wife Julieta were “not at all bothered” by the allegations.
He denied engaging in any act of terrorism, noting that it is “utterly wrong to misrepresent acts of a revolutionary movement as a case of common crime.”
“To start with, the list of names in the designation appears to be arbitrary, dubious and even contradictory or inconsistent with the various public and purportedly personal statements even of its own NTF-Elcac (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) evil minions,” Sison said.
“Moreover, it includes mostly publicly known political consultants of the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) negotiating panel in the peace negotiations with the Manila government who are all entitled to the protection of the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement of Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) and other binding bilateral agreements,” he added.
Sison said that the government, by coming up with such a list, is “depriving suspects of their rights, usurping judicial authority and castrating the judiciary.”
“Our main concern is for those who are in the Philippines and are designated by the aforesaid resolution and many more people who are red-tagged and vulnerable to the criminal violence of the Duterte regime," he said. (SunStar Philippines)