ATC vice chairperson and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has named 16 underground organizations linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorist groups.

In Resolution No. 288 (2022) dated January 26 and signed by ATC vice chairperson and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., the ATC found probable cause to designate the following organization as "terrorist groups of persons, organizations or associations" based on verified and validation information, as well as testimonial and documentary evidence:

* Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions (RCTU);

* Katipunan ng mga Samahang Manggagawa/Federation of Labor Organizations (KASAMA);

* Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid/National Association of Peasants (PKM);

* Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan/Patriotic Movement of New Women (MAKIBAKA);

* Kabataang Makabayan/Patriotic Youth (KM);

* Katipunan ng Gurong Makabayan/Association of Patriotic Teachers (KAGUMA);

* Makabayang Samahang Pangkalusugan/Patriotic Health Association (MASAPA);

* Liga ng Agham Para sa Bayan/League of Scientists for the People (LAB);

* Lupon ng mga Manananggol para sa Bayan/Committee of Lawyers for the People (LUMABAN);

* Artista at Manunulat ng Sambayanan/Artists and Writers for the People (ARMAS);

* Makabayang Kawaning Pilipino/Patriotic Government Employees (MKP);

* Revolutionary Organization of Overseas Filipinos and their Families (COMPATRIOTS);

* Christians for National Liberation (CNL);

* Cordillera People's Democratic Front (CPDF);

* Moro Resistance Liberation Organization (MRLO); and

* Rebolusyonaryong Organisasyong Lumad/Revolutionary Organization of Lumads (ROL)

The resolution said the designation is aimed at eliminating, preventing, and suppressing the financing of terrorist acts, support and recruitment of members, and the supply of weapons to terrorists.

It added that designated terrorist organizations/associations under ATC Resolution No. 12 (2020) are "necessary and indispensable in the spotting, developing, recruitment and dispatch of cadres, given that membership in an underground organization is a requirement prior to becoming a cadre of the CPP-NPA."

The groups had been identified by the official website of the National Democratic Front (NDF) which enumerated these underground organizations as its "member organizations".

The resolution also said CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, in his keynote speech for the NDF's 48th anniversary in April 2021, identified these underground organizations, along with the CPP-NPA, as allied organizations of the NDF.

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.

The NDF has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the ATC on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)