The Anti-Terror Act (ATA) that President Rodrigo Duterte signed the other day starts the era when the world of terror groups shrinks after making a mockery of the government and the people for years.
ATA replaces the Human Security Act of 2007 that was made ineffective by allies of the communist movement in Congress. This resulted to a solitary conviction in the 13 years that the law was in force, despite several fatal terror offensives that included the Marawi City siege of 2017.
The new law basically removed ridiculous restrictions, including P500,000 in compensation for each day of a mistaken arrest that became a key deterrent for law enforcers to charge obvious terrorists under its previous version.
Instead, members of terror groups are charged with ordinary offenses, such as carrying of firearms and murder, that fail to contend with the heinous act in a comprehensive manner, such as tracking the sources of financing.
Expectedly, the passing of the law stirred a hornet’s nest as the usual detractors, composed of the members of the political syndicate of the communists and the yellow mob, are again unleashing their most vicious spins.
Frustrated politician Chel Diokno said the ATA “will terrorize our democracy, not the terrorists.”
The likes of Diokno are the characters who allowed terrorist groups to thrive and expand due to their obstructionist efforts in the guise of human rights protection.
Thus, the paradox of more atrocities committed by the New People’s Army (NPA), the militia of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), in areas where rights violations are alleged by the legal fronts of the group.
The 2019 Global Terrorism Index showed the Philippines among the top 10 countries most impacted by terrorism, and named the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental as hotspots of attacks and atrocities of the NPA.
According to the yearly ranking, “In 2018, the NPA conducted attacks across 39 provinces. The group was most active in the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental, causing 36 deaths collectively.”
NPA attacks on the island of Negros increased by 111 percent since 2017, with a surge in violence attributed to land rights issues, according to the report, which added that 53 percent of NPA attacks on the island of Negros were against police, military and government targets.
The futility of peace negotiations with the hardliners of self-exiled Jose Maria Sison, CPP founder, is made apparent in the increase in attacks on government targets by 45 percent between 2017 and 2018, causing 139 deaths.
Those were the periods when the government and the CPP’s National Democratic Front were supposedly negotiating peace.
Sison and his cadres are adept at using democratic space to consolidate and get maximum support for their aim of bringing down the government.
Since the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Act in 1998 by then President Fidel Ramos, members of the CPP have been able to move freely while mobilizing and organizing.
During the same period, the CPP launched the dual strategy of using institutions to further its evil aims and cornered partylist positions in Congress.
While members of the House of Representatives who are its sympathizers have been able to participate in national debates and decision-making processes, its cadres in the NPA have continued to perpetrate crimes of terror on the ground.
Such illicit relations are targeted to end under the ATA, which is a prospect that is now the source of deep worries to the alliance of opportunism, thus, the endless volley of demonization.