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No warrantless arrests — DOJ

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra has allayed fears of warrantless arrests following the Anti-Terrorism Council’s designation of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and its armed wing New People’s Army, as terror groups.

In a message, Guevarra pointed out that the effect of the designation was only to allow the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to freeze related accounts (RA), which have been opened and maintained for the CPP-NPA.

“Detention without a judicial warrant of arrest may happen only in case the suspected person has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit any of the acts defined and penalized under Sections 4-12 of the ATA (Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020) in the presence of the arresting officer, or when the arresting officer has probable cause, based on his personal knowledge, that the suspect was the perpetrator of any such punishable acts which has just been committed, ” Guevarra said.

The ATC recently designated the CPP/ NPA as a terror organization.

Makati City Pabakuna

The ATC said in a resolution dated December 9 but only published on its website on December 21: “The ATC (Anti-Terrorism Council)…finds probable cause that the CPP/NPA committed or conspired to commit the acts defined and penalized under Section 4 of the Anti-Terror Act and hereby designates the CPP/NPA as terrorist organizations, associations or groups of persons.

Sections 35 and 36 of Republic Act No. 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, has authorized the AMLC to scrutinize the finances of organizations or groups of individuals that the ATC had labeled as terrorists.

Under the law, the AMLC could issue a 20-day freeze order on the assets of these groups and extend this to another six months upon the approval of the Court of Appeals.

The AMLC may also exercise its authority to examine the accounts related to the CPP-NPA under Republic Act No. 10168, also known as the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Hector Lawas
Court reporter for more than 20 years