AMLC decision to freeze assets of NDFP allies is ridiculous, but at the same time, dangerous

This article is available in Bisaya

It is ridiculous that the Anti-Money Laundering Council yesterday declared that it will freeze the accounts and assets of 16 organizations allied with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) earlier “designated as terrorists” by the NTF-Elcac/ATC.

In the first place, these organizations are underground and operate clandestinely. Their members numbering in the hundreds of thousands are incognito with no public or secret records of their membership. They do not have properties under their names, and especially, no accounts in Philippine banks. Because they operate outside legal processes, these organizations are outside the jurisdiction of the AMLC. Having experience in fighting martial law and persevered through decades of struggle, these organizations can continue to secure and expand their ranks.

But the AMLC declaration is dangerous because it can be used against social activists, progressives and patriotic forces, human rights defenders and critics of the tyrannical regime who have been repeatedly red-tagged by the NTF-Elcac/ATC. The recent arrest of Dr. Natividad Castro is a portent of the schemes of the NTF-Elcac to mount a general crackdown before or after the elections to suppress the people’s resistance.

Also, recall how the AMLC froze the assets of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines which the NTF-Elcac has baselessly accused of being a “communist front” merely for being staunch defenders of the rights of Lumad people in Mindanao.

We urge all progressive, patriotic and democratic forces, peace advocates and human rights defenders both in the Philippines and overseas to denounce the resolution of the NTF-Elcac/ATC and AMLC against the NDFP and its allied organizations and the heightening state terrorism and political repression in the Philippines.

AMLC decision to freeze assets of NDFP allies is ridiculous, but at the same time, dangerous