Groups, persons wrongly tagged as terrorists may seek delisting, judicial redress: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2020 12:16 PM | Updated as of Oct 20 2020 03:04 PM

Health workers, nurses, doctors, health science students and advocates picketed the Department of National Defense (DND) headquarters in Quezon City in protest of what they said were worsening attacks, red-tagging and smear campaign against health professionals, May 31, 2019. Gerard Carreon, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA— Groups or individuals wrongly tagged as terrorists by the Anti-Terrorism Council may delist themselves or seek judicial redress from courts, an official said Tuesday.

The council's spokesman Adrian Sugay made the remark after some groups raised concerns about red-tagging with the enforcement of the heavily criticized anti-terror law.

"As far as I’m concerned, as far as the Department of Justice and the Anti-Terrorism Council is concerned, if your acts do not fall within any of those (terrorism) definitions, whatever your (political) color is I think you should have no problem," he told ANC's Headstart.

"If you are tagged accordingly, improvidently, improperly, of course we always [settle] these things in court and I think you’ll always have judicial redress. That’s always going to be available to you."

Sugay said the designation of groups and individuals as terrorists may be done through a UN Security Council resolution, the request of international bodies such as the European Union, or based on probable cause by the Anti-Terrorism Council.

"The designation goes through a long process... even with the designation done by the Anti-Terrorism Council it goes through a process, it’s not just any sort of designation. You can’t just call anybody a terrorist organization without basis," he said.

"I’m sure in making that designation the Anti-Terrorism Council will be very aware and will view very closely the definitions made under the law."

Under the IRR, designation is different from proscription, the judicial process of declaring a group a terrorist, which is done by the Court of Appeals (CA) upon the application of the DOJ with recommendation from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and authority from the ATC.

"Proscription is actually declaring a group illegal. It goes through a full judicial process, the whole nine yards. When the Court of Appeals finally says the organization is illegal, it follows that membership in that organization should likewise be illegal and that makes you a terrorist," Sugay said.

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