CPP says anti-terror council reso is proof terror law is being ‘weaponized’
MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Terrorism Council resolution which branded as “terrorists” the 19 alleged leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is proof that the Anti-Terrorism Law is being used as an “oppressive weapon,” said the CPP on Thursday.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing the numerous petitions questioning the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 11479, known as the Anti Terrorism Act of 2020, which shall be administered by the ATC, the body tasked to draft the guidelines and formulate measures and programs to suppress terrorism in the country.
The ATC resolution found “probable cause,” as defined in the Anti-Terrorism Act that the 19 CPP officials violated Sections 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of the law “for planning, preparing, facilitating, conspiring, and inciting the commission of terrorism and recruitment to and membership in a terrorist organization or a group organized for the purpose of engaging in terrorism.”
Said resolution, approved by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon on April 21, 2021, lumped the group together with the extremist group Abu Sayyaf.
But in its statement, the CPP said the resolution indicated that the term ‘anti-terrorism’ is clearly an “oppressive weapon used by tyrants to perpetuate their rule.”
The group also likened the current administration’s anti-terrorism efforts to how foreign colonizers disparaged Filipino freedom fighters as “brigands,” “bandits” and “issurectos,” “to justify their all-out war to ‘pacify’ the Filipino people and suppress their struggle for national liberation.”
“The Duterte regime’s ‘anti-terrorism’ is, in fact, state terrorism, where the entire armed machinery of the state is used to suppress and silence the people and eliminate all dissent and resistance,” the CPP further stated.
CPP also said that “anti-terrorism” itself is an “undemocratic concept” as it is being used as a tool against the people’s cause for national liberation and social justice, especially in light of the state’s propensity to tag personalities as “terrorists” without evidence to back their claim.
“The ATC merely recycled a very old list being maintained by military ‘intelligence,’” said the CPP. “The arbitrary naming of known peace consultants and revolutionaries underscore why the Anti-Terror Law and the ATC itself are illegitimate and should be repudiated.”
According to the CPP, the people included in the ATC’s resolution are not terrorists but rather “honorable revolutionaries” — most of whom are now in their sixties and seventies — who have served the cause of the Filipino people for national and social liberation
The designation is also a “veritable slap on the face of the justices of the SC, who have yet to complete hearings on the law.
The ATC’s resolution, CPP claimed, is merely a “desperate act to vilify revolutionaries and cover-up the crimes of state terrorism committed by the Duterte regime.”
It added that it is also an act of treachery against the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the negotiating arm of the communist movement, after listing personalities involved in the peace process, including interim NDFP negotiating panel chairperson Julie de Lima Sison, and CPP founder and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Ma. Sison.
“This act of the ATC is Duterte getting back at the NDFP for not bowing to his wishes for the revolutionary forces to surrender their principles to his fascist tyranny,” CPP said.
The CPP said that only Duterte, his military generals and “fascist minions” denounce the democratic armed resistance to his to his “tyrannical regime” as “terrorism.”
“To the oppressed and exploited, taking up arms is the only option to defend themselves in the face of relentless killings perpetrated by the police, military and other armed agents of the reactionary state… Amid Duterte’s brutal attacks and crimes against the people, to wage revolution is the most honorable thing to do,” the CPP said.
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