Outgoing National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon Jr. requested the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to shut down at least 25 websites that are linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), it was revealed Wednesday, June 22.
In a letter to NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba dated June 6, Esperon appealed to NTC to issue legal instruments to order Philippine Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to the websites that are supposedly affiliated to and are supporting “terrorists and terrorist organizations.”
These include the websites of CPP founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF), the Official Publication of the NDF, and the Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) or the website of CPP.
The list also includes the websites of progressive groups and independent media organizations such as Bulatlat, Pinoy Weekly, Save Our Schools Network, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Pamalakaya Pilipinas, and AMIHAN National Federation of Peasant Women.
Other websites in the list are Hiyaw, PRWC Newsroom, Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions, Compatriots-Revolutionary Organization of Overseas Filipino and their Families, UMA Pilipinas, Arkibong Bayan, International League of People Struggle, Counter Punch, International Action Center, Monthly Review, People’s March, Taga-Ilog News, Partisa-News, and People Resist News.
“Indeed, the activities, in terms of recruitment, funding, and propaganda of these Communist Terrorist organizations should be stopped,” Esperon said in his letter.
“They have established pervasive online presence through their websites that they continually use to publish propaganda and misinformation campaigns in order to malign the Philippine government, recruit new members, and to solicit funds from local and international sources,” he added.
In his letter, Esperon cited the resolutions passed by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) which designated the CPP and the NPA as terrorist organizations, the Central Committee members of the CPP-NPA as terrorists, and the NDF as a terrorist organization to justify his appeal to NTC.
The ATC, formed after the enactment of the widely scrutinized Anti-Terrorism Law in 2020, passed these resolutions on Dec. 9, 2020; April 21, 2021; and June 23, 2021 respectively.