Govt designates NDFP as 'terrorist' organization

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) — The government's Anti-Terrorism Council designated the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as a ‘terrorist’ organization, citing its ties with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military arm, the New People’s Army.

In a resolution dated June 23 but released to the media recently, the Council referred to the NDFP as an “integral and inseparable part” of the CPP/NPA — which were likewise formally tagged as "terrorist organizations, associations or groups of persons" in December last year.

The NDFP’s designation came only months after the ATC designated CPP Founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison and his wife Juliet de Lima-Sison as “terrorists.” 

Sison “further highlighted” the NDFP’s connection and/or linkage with the CPP/NPA, according to the resolution, as he “identified the CPP/NPA as allied organizations of the NDF a.k.a. NDFP in his message for the NDF’s 48th anniversary in April 2021.”

De Lima-Sison, who was allegedly named as the NDFP’s interim chairperson just recently, was said to have claimed that the “the CPP/NPA/NDF is not subject to the authority of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines or GRP as the CPP/NPA belong to the NDFP and not to the GRP” last January, said the ATC.

The anti-terrorism body also cited the CPP’s posting of an article in the NDFP’s website encouraging it to keep waging campaigns to support armed operations through cash or in-kind contributions.

It likewise alleged the NDFP continues to “lure and/or recruit” individuals to join the armed wing, with the CPP maintaining “the direct and indispensable role of the NDF a.k.a. NDFP in its armed operations” supposedly through public media statements and CPP documents and revelations of ex-members.

“[B]ased on verified and validated information as well as testimonial and documentary evidence, the ATC found probable cause warranting the designation of the NDF a.k.a. NDFP as a terrorist group of persons, organization, or association for having committed, or attempting to commit, or conspire in the commission of the acts defined and penalized under Sections, 7, 10, and 12 of the ATA,” read the resolution.

Executive Secretary and ATC chairperson Salvador Medialdea, along with National Security Adviser and ATC vice chairperson Hermogenes Esperon Jr. signed the document.

CNN Philippines is requesting for comment from the NDFP.