ATC: sole authority to designate groups, individuals as ‘terrorists’

ATC: sole authority to designate groups, individuals as ‘terrorists’

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 02:05 AM April 30, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has asserted its sole authority to designate individuals, groups, or organizations as terrorists and guaranteed its commitment to safeguarding the rights of Filipino workers, including their “freedom of association and collective bargaining.”

ATC issued its affirmation on Monday following “concerns of some individuals, groups of persons, organizations, or associations, particularly trade unions and labor organizations,” reportedly labeled or linked to terrorists without its designation.


READ: ATC maintains terrorist designation of CPP-NPA


“The ATC, in accordance with Republic Act No. 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (ATA), affirms that it has the sole and exclusive authority to designate individuals, groups of persons, organizations, or associations as terrorists,” the council said in a statement.

“This authority carries legal effects, such as the freezing of assets, and is exercised with utmost diligence, guided by existing laws, rules, and regulations, ensuring the protection of fundamental rights and due process,” it added.

According to ATC, no other government agency, officer, or even employee “has the authority to label or brand any individual, groups, or unions as terrorists — in a manner that can be construed as a designation under the ATA.

“All this is in line with the Philippines’ commitment, as a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and a signatory to ILO Conventions Nos. 87 and 98, to uphold the principles mandated by these conventions, to include the establishment and maintenance of an environment that supports workers’ free exercise of the right to organize and engage in union activities without interference or fear of reprisal,” the council stressed.

It added that the commitment also covers the fundamental human rights of freedom of association and the right to organize, which are essential foundations of a democratic society as stated in “the 1987 Philippine Constitution (Article 3, Section 8 and Article 13, Section 3), Book V of the Labor Code, and international frameworks such as Article 2 of ILO Convention 87, Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 8 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.”

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TAGS: Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, ATC, ILO, Republic Act No. 11479

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