DND Secretary Lorenzana hails National Democratic Front’s designation as terror group

Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND), praised the Anti-Terrorism Council’s (ATC) resolution branding the Philippines’ National Democratic Front (NDF) as a terrorist organization on Tuesday.

The latest finding, according to Lorenzana, will “justify and enable the defense sector to move forward in its efforts to address internal security concerns.”

Lorenzana claimed that the NDF continues to “lure and recruit people” to join its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), and that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has admitted to the NDF’s direct role in its armed operations through its own public media releases and papers.

“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.

ATC Chair and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea cited the NDF as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA formed in April 1973 in a five-page Resolution No. 21 dated June 23, 2021.

“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.

According to Lorenzana, the ATC determined “probable cause” to designate the NDF as a terrorist organization, citing CPP founder Jose Ma.  Sison’s comments. The CPP-NPA was named by Sison as one of the NDF’s affiliated organizations.

“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 United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines have all designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.

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