Gulf Today

AMLC freezes assets of Abu Sayyaf, Leftist rebels

- Manolo B Jara

MANILA: The Anti-money Laundering Council (AMLC) ordered a freeze on the assets of the National Democratic Front ( NDF) linked to communist rebels, and the Daesh-inspired Abu Sayyaf extremists which the government has declared as “terrorists.”

Lawyer Mel Georgie Racela, the AMLC chief, announced the order covers the property and funds owned and controlled by the NDF, the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippine­s and its armed wing the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and a total of 20 Abu Sayyaf leaders.

Racela warned that any person dealing directly or indirectly with any property owned by individual­s designated as terrorists would be prosecuted.

He also said government agencies like the Land Transporta­tion Office, Land Registrati­on Authority and Maritime Industry Authority were ordered to submit reports to the AMLC any informatio­n required by the Terrorism and Financing Prevention and Suppressio­n Act of 2012.

According to Racela, the AMLC ordered the freeze order in line with a resolution of the AntiTerror­ism Council which adopted a resolution declaring the NDF and 20 Abu Sayyaf leaders as terrorists.

In its resolution, the council said the NDF “remains an integral and inseparabl­e part” of the CPP-NPA which were declared a terror group last December.

As their political arm, the NDF also represente­d the CPP-NPA in the off-and-on peace talks with the government hosted by Norway as the third party facilitato­r.

The CPP-NPA have been waging a Maoist-style insurgency against the government for more than 50 years, considered the longest in Asia and the Pacific.

The government said the insurgency impeded growth and developmen­t particular­ly in the countrysid­e and killed thousands of mostly innocent civilians.

At the same time, Racela said the freeze order covered the assets of 20 Abu Sayyaf leaders headed by its overall leader Raddulan Sahiron alias “Commander Putol,” one of the most wanted terrorists by the US Federal Bureau of Investigat­ion.

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