Personalities in ATC terrorist list can apply for delisting, says DILG Chief

Published May 14, 2021, 2:45 PM

by Chito Chavez

The 29 individuals tagged by the Anti-Terrorist Council (ATC) as “terrorists” who are now included in their watch list may resort to “remedies” to have their names delisted from the roster, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Friday, May 14.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año (Photo courtesy of DILG)

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo that the tagged personalities may file a request for delisting before the ATC within 15 days, citing “mistaken identity or mistaken of facts’’ as the reason why they were included in the council’s terrorist list.

Another option, Año said, is for them to avail of a judicial remedy where they can seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the courts.

On Thursday, the ATC published in a newspaper the names of 29 personalities who were tagged as ranking officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as well as local extremist groups including the Abu Sayyaf Group.

The DILG Chief maintained that the ATC has a basis for the creation of its terrorist list, saying “most of them have existing warrants of arrests.”

“May conviction doon katulad ni Benito at Wilma Tiamzon (Their [cases] have conviction like Benito and Wilma Tiamzon),” said Año, referring to the Tiamzon couple who are believed to be high ranking officers of the CPP-NPA and convicted of kidnapping by a Quezon City court in November 2017.

“Yung iba diyan ay nag-jump bail na. Naarest na, may mga warrant na ‘yan at nag-jump bail at nagtatago na rin kasi mga central committee members ito ng CPP-NPA (Others jumped their bail. They were arrested, they have warrants but jumped their bail and went into hiding because they are central committee members of the CPP-NPA),” he said.

Meanwhile, Año noted the case of Rafael Baylosis, who is included in the ATC terrorist list even after he was already cleared by the court charges for illegal possession of firearms charges.

Año disclosed that the tagged personalities are not under investigation but the manhunt for them continues, like the Tiamzon couple and Randy Alcantara who were released to participate before in the peace talks but jumped bail when the process did not prosper.

The DILG chief stressed that adverse effects are prevalent with the individuals’ inclusion in the list of terrorists, saying their assets may be frozen by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to give way for an investigation.

With the freezing of their assets, Año explained that those in the roster of terrorists may be barred from travelling as they will be included in the hold departure order (HDO) list that will trigger the start of a government probe.

He said those included in the terrorist list may be arrested and formally charged in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 while others may face charges for illegal possession of firearms and rebellion charges, or new cases which fall under the ATA.

He added that law enforcement agencies may also apply for an arrest warrant but stressed that court permission is needed and cases should be filed within the prescribed period before arrests are made.

Otherwise those in the terrorist list must be released, he said.