The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is now moving to freeze and eventually seize the bank deposits and other assets of the terrorist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA), Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Sunday.
“The AMLC can already move in the premises at any time after due designation by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC),” Guevarra told reporters.
Quoting AMLC Executive Director Mel Racela, Guevarra said the AMLC approved its freeze order against the CPP-NPA and other designated terrorist groups last December 23 after the ATC formally designated the communist organization as a terrorist group.
In a separate message to reporters, Racela clarified the extent of the freeze order.
“There are no accounts under the name of CPP/NPA, but the FO (freeze order) covers the related accounts (RA) of said organization. RA means all accounts opened and maintained for the benefit of said organization, the identification of which the banks and other covered persons will play a very important role,” Racela said.
The freeze order, he said, was issued pursuant to Section 25 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (Republic Act 11479) in relation to the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act (Republic Act 10168) after the ATC has designated the CPP-NPA as a terror group.
“These statutory provisions are intended to preemptively deprive designated terror organizations of resources to prevent possible terror attacks,” he said.
Sections 35 and 36 of Republic Act 11479 authorize the AMLC to scrutinize the finances of organizations or groups of individuals that the ATC had labeled as terrorists.
The same provisions of the law also authorize the AMLC to issue a 20-day freeze order on the assets of these groups extendible by six months upon the approval of the Court of Appeals.
Based on estimates by the Department of National Defense, the CPP-NPA collects about P1 billion annually from extorting various businesses, including mining and telecom companies. SOVEREIGNPH