Gov’t tags community doctor as terrorist

Dr. Maria Natividad Marian Castro. STORY: Gov’t tags community doctor as terrorist

Dr. Maria Natividad Marian Castro (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has branded community doctor Dr. Maria Natividad Marian Silva “Naty” Castro as a terrorist, under a new resolution made public on Monday.

ATC’s Resolution No. 35 dated Dec. 7, 2022, said the council found probable cause to designate Castro as a “terrorist individual” for her involvement in planning, training, preparing, and facilitating “the commission of terrorism and recruitment,” and providing material support to alleged terrorist organizations.

The resolution was signed by the ATC chair, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director General Ricardo de Leon. Former National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos, who was ATC’s vice chair at the time, has no signature on the document.

Doctor to ‘lumad’

According to the resolution, Castro, who served “lumad” (indigenous) communities in Mindanao, played an “active and continuous role” in attaining the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines’ (CPP-NPA-NDFP) mission and objectives by providing training to the communist rebels.

It asserted that she held “various key positions” in the CPP-NPA-NDFP and was involved in the “generation, management and supervision of CPP-NPA-NDF/NDFP’s funds sourced locally and abroad, and its subsequent allotment schemes.”

The resolution cited the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which allows the council to brand domestic or foreign individuals, groups or organizations as terrorists.

Castro was arrested in February last year at her home in Manila and was flown to Agusan del Sur where she was held for charges of kidnapping and supporting the CPP.


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