THE Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) issued a freeze order on the assets of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) after it was designated by the Anti-Terror Council (ATC) as a terrorist organization.
The AMLC said the order covers all the property or funds owned and controlled by the NDFP and is “not limited to those that are directly related or can be tied to a particular terrorist act, plot, or threat.”
It also includes assets “wholly or jointly owned or controlled, directly or indirectly” by the group.
“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,” AMLC Resolution No. TF-42, series of 2021 reads.
The AMLC said any person, private companies and government agency who will be found violating the said order will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law pursuant to Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (TFPSA).
“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.
ATC Resolution No. 21, signed by ATC Chairperson and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on June 23, 2021, designates the NDFP as a terrorist organization, citing that it is an “integral and separate part” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA), providing support to the armed and organizational expansion activities of the group.
The CPP-NPA was tagged as a terrorist organization by the ATC last year. CPP founder Jose Maria Sison and his wife Juliet were also tagged as terrorists along with other key members of the group.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, welcomed the NDFP designation which, it said, affirmed the duplicity of the CPP that commands NPA and the so-called legal front that provides support for their terrorist activities.
“It has been a long time coming. We believe that this decision by our higher civilian authorities will significantly help our troops on the ground by preventing the operation of underground mass organizations that recruit and raise funds for the armed group,” the AFP said. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)