29 ‘terrorists’ may also be charged criminally with violations of other laws, not only ATA

Published May 13, 2021, 1:57 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice

Criminal charges, not only for violations of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), may be filed against 29 persons who have been designated terrorists, Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand S. Sugay said on Thursday, May 13.

“With regard to other actions against the designated individuals, if it can be determined that they violated relevant provisions of the ATA, the Revised Penal Code, and other laws and after appropriate proceedings, criminal complaints may be filed against them,” Sugay said.

“This is apart from criminal cases already pending against many of these designated individuals,” he said.

He also said that under ATA, those who have been designated as terrorists will also get their assets frozen by the government and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is tasked with identifying what assets should get frozen.

“With regard to the identification of assets, all relevant information is with the AMLC and is subject to relevant provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Law and the Terrorist Financing and Suppression Act,” he explained.

The 29 persons designated “terrorists” are led by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” C. Sison.

Sugay said that in identifying the persons to be designated as terrorists, the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) “followed its internal mechanism for designation.”

“The matter was first referred to a TWG (technical working group) for purposes of evaluating the basis for the designation,” he said.

“The TWG then referred its recommendation/s to the council for the consideration/adoption,” he added.

The government made public the names of the 29 persons designated as terrorists after National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr., vice chairperson of the ATC, signed ATC Resolution Nos. 16 and 17 dated February 24, 2021 and April 17, 2021, respectively.

Resolution No. 17 designated Sison and 18 other individuals identified with the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).

Also included in Sison’s group are Vicente Portades Ladlad, Rafael De Guzman Baylosis, Jorge Madlos, Julieta De Lima Sison, Rey Claro Cera Casambre, Abdias Guadiana, Alan Valera Jazmines, Benito Enriquez Tiamzon, Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, Adelberto Albayalde Silva, Ma. Concepcion Araneta-Bocala, Dionesio Micabolo, Myrna Sularte, Tirso Lagora Alcantara, Pedro Heyrona Codaste, Tomas Dominodo, Ma. Loida Tuzo Magpatoc and Menandro Villanueva.

While, Resolution No. 16 named 10 persons as terrorists including Esmael Abdulmalik, an alleged Islamic State (IS) fanatic connected with the Dawlah Islamiyah (DI).

Also tagged as terrorists in the resolution are nine other individuals affiliated with either the DI, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), or the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). They are Raden Abu, Esmael Abubakar, Muhiddin Animbang, Salahuddin Hassan, Radzmil Jannatul, Majan Sahidjuan, Faharudin Bonito Hadji Satar, Mudsrimar Sawadjaan, and Almujer Yadah.