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Websites have access to all legal options as opposed to NTC banning
On Wednesday, Malacanang stated that websites that have been identified as supporters or members of terrorist groups and are slated to be blocked by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) may exhaust legal measures to have the decision reversed.
Martin Andanar, the acting presidential spokesperson and communications secretary, delivered this statement in response to criticism of the NTC’s decision to prohibit websites associated with or supporting terrorist organizations.
According to a news release from Andanar, “Legal remedies are accessible to any party, including online media outlet Bulatlat, affected by this action.”
He also emphasized that the National Security Council (NSC) requested that specific websites be blocked so that the NTC could carry out its duty.
Hermogenes Esperon, the nation’s national security adviser, asked the NTC in a letter dated June 6 to direct internet service providers to prohibit access to 26 websites that are “affiliated with and supporting” terrorists and terrorist organizations like the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Esperon continued, “They have built a ubiquitous online presence through their websites, which they continuously use to broadcast propaganda and disinformation campaigns in order to disparage the Philippine government, recruit new members, and seek donations from local and international sources.”
In this context, Esperon added, “may we kindly beg the NTC to issue legal tools to require Philippine ISPs to prohibit access to the following websites linked with and supporting these terrorist and terrorist organizations.
The list also includes websites for the NDFP, CPP, and Jose Maria “Joma” Sison.
Progressive websites and independent media outlets like Bulatlat are also included. Bulatlat claimed that the action “sets a dangerous precedent for independent journalism in the Philippines.”
Long arm of the law
Former CPP-NPA-NDF member Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz applauded Esperon’s plea to prohibit websites linked to communist terrorist groups (CTGs).
In a letter to the Philippine News Agency, Celiz stated that “finally, the long arm of justice is now slowly being felt by the vile groups being run, financed, and operated by CPP-NPA-NDF in their so-called urban infiltration operations.”
He said that the decision was made as a result of the NSC’s persistent efforts, which were directed by Esperon.
Celiz stated that when dealing with the CTG conspirators and colluders, state authorities should always be severe and firm.
All forces that seek to topple our government and abuse our legal and democratic systems must always face a hostile operational environment, according to Celiz.
The same call was also made by Celiz and Sentrong Alyansa Ng Mga Mamamayan Para Sa Bayan (Sambayanan), a nationwide group of ex-rebels, through an online petition on change.org.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) website https://ndf.org and other websites that continuously provide timely news and information, including statements from the CPP and affiliated organizations of the NDFP, are specifically requested to be taken down and permanently banned by the petition at https://www.change.org/p/sovereign-petition-of-the-filipino-people.
A resolution classifying the NDFP as a terror organization was passed by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) in June 2021.
Six months after designating the CPP and the NPA as terrorist groups, the government designated the NDFP.
The NDFP was finally labeled a terrorist organization, according to the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
In order to properly coordinate and integrate plans and policies that affect national security, the NSC serves as the primary advising body.
The National Security Council Secretariat and the Council Proper are two separate constituent parts.
The United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines have designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.
On June 23, 2021, the Anti-Terrorism Council formally recognized the NDF as a terrorist group, characterizing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA established in April 1973.