Several months after the US Department of State and the European Union (EU), affirmed that the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), are “terrorist organizations,” this is surprisingly yet to be reported by the country’s mainstream media.
As far back as September 10, 2019, US Secretary of State (in charge of US foreign affairs) Michael ‘Mike’ Pompeo had issued a statement announcing the “modernization” of EO 13224.
EO 13224 was originally signed by then US president, George W. Bush, on September 23, 2001, two days after a terrorist attack that brought down the famous ‘Twin Tower’ (World Trade Center) in New York City and which killed at least 2,600 US citizens.
Its annexes contain the updated list of groups and individuals the US government deemed as “terrorists.”
“Today, the President (Donal Trump) signed an Executive Order modernizing and expanding sanctions to combat terrorism.
“This Executive Order – the most significant update of terrorism designation authorities since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks – enhances the United States’ ability to target and deprive terrorists and their enablers of financial, material, and logistical support worldwide,” Pompeo said in his opening statement.
Immediately included in the US ‘terrorist list’ signed by Bush is the ‘Abu Sayyaf Group’ (ASG), based in Mindanao.
The ASG was ranked number three, after the ‘Al Qaida/Islamic Army’ headed by Usama Bin Laden (No. 13 in the list) and, ‘Abou Iyadh’ or ‘Seifallah Ben Hassine,’ a close associate of Bin Laden.
(Bin Laden was killed by US special forces inside Pakistan on May 2, 2011).
In 2012, the US added 9 more, one individual and 8 terrorist groups, of which three groups were based in the Philippines, namely: Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and, the New People’s Army (NPA). The lone individual included in the list is CPP-NPA founder, Jose Maria Sison.
Both Sison and the CPP-NPA were proscribed by the US Government on August 12, 2002 while the JI on October 23, 2002.
Three more PH-based terrorist groups and one individual were added to the US list, the Rajah Sulayman Movement (RSM) and its top official, Hilarion del Rosario on June 16, 2008 and the Maute Group and ISIS (Islamic State) Philippines on February 27, 2018.
EO 13224 also allowed the US government to “disrupt” the “financial support network” of listed terrorists and terrorist groups by blocking the “assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.”
At the European Union (EU), Council Decision 2020/20 dated January 13, 2020, the CPP-NPA is ranked number 5 in the list of groups and entities identified by the EU as “terrorists,” the only PH-based terrorist group among the 21 groups identified as such, when compared to the US list.
The affirmation by the EU of the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations came after a “periodic review” of its own list that it first adopted on December 27, 2001, under ‘Common Position 2001/931/CSFP on the “application of specific measures to combat terrorism.”
Although both EO 13224 and EU Council Decision 2020/20 are freely available, no major Philippine media entity has reported them despite their significance.
In the Philippines, Pres. Duterte last December 5, 2017, issued Proclamation 374, in relation to RA 10168 or the ‘Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 and which also classified the CPP-NPA terrorist organizations.
The President followed this up one year later with the issuance of EO 70, which created a national task force (NTF-ELCAC) to deal with the terrorism being waged by the CPP-NPA under the ‘Whole-of-Nation’ (WON) approach. (Pinoy Expose)