Designation of National Democratic Front as terror group hailed
By Priam Nepomuceno / Philippine News Agency
MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday hailed the resolution of the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) designating the National Democratic Front (NDF) of the Philippines as a terrorist group.
Lorenzana said the latest development would "justify and enable the defense sector to move forward in its efforts to address internal security concerns".
The NDF continues to "lure and recruit people" to join its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), Lorenzana said, adding that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), through its own public media releases and documents, admitted to the NDF's direct role in its armed operations.
"The CPP-NPA themselves continue to launch attacks against the Filipino people, victimizing innocent civilians and destroying billions’ worth of crucial public infrastructure for a principle that has long since been rendered obsolete," Lorenzana said.
In a five-page Resolution No. 21 dated June 23, 2021, ATC Chair and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea cited the NDF as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.
“Article IX of the 2016 CPP Constitution shows the command, lead and guidance of the CPP over the NPA, while Article X shows that the NDF (a.k.a. NDF of the Philippines) is the core and most consolidated group that provides support to the armed and organizational expansion of the CPP-NPA,” the resolution read.
Lorenzana said the ATC has found "probable cause" warranting the NDF's terrorist group designation, citing the statement of CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison who identified the CPP-NPA as one of the allied organizations of the NDF.
"His wife, Juliet De Lima-Sison was also recently named as the Interim Chairperson of the NDF negotiating panel. The couple were both designated as terrorists under ATC Resolution No. 17 earlier this year," Lorenzana said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines. (PNA)