Anti-terror council puts ‘terrorist’ tag on community doctor
MANILA, Philippines —Community doctor Dr. Maria Natividad Marian Silva Castro, whose detention last year drew a deluge of condemnation from the medical community, human rights groups, and supporters, has been labeled a “terrorist individual” by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC).
The ATC found “probable cause” to label human rights and public health advocate Castro as a terrorist in a resolution approved on December 7, 2022, but only published on Monday.
“[B]ased on verified information, sworn statements, and other evidence gathered by Philippine law enforcement and security agencies, there is a finding of probable cause, warranting the designation of Maria Natividad Marian Silva Castro @Doc Naty/Doc Nati/Naty/Nati/Yam/Agi/Kyle/ Prim/Milo as a terrorist individual,” the ATC said in its resolution.
The ATC claimed Castro holds various key positions in the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People’s Army and political wing National Democratic Front.
On March 25, 2022, Bayugan City Regional Trial Court in Agusan del Sur said it found no probable cause against Castro. The judge cited two grounds for dismissing the case: the denial of Castro’s “substantive right” to due process and the lack of jurisdiction over the doctor.
However, state prosecutors filed a motion for reconsideration, prompting the court to take another look at the case.
On June 16, 2022, the Bayugan City RTC reversed the order that dismissed the case against Castro.
Castro was arrested on Feb. 18, 2022 on charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
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