Bacolod: VISCOM welcomes arrest warrants for 27 persons on financing terrorism

photo courtesy of The Visayan Daily Star

Bacolod City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines Visayas Command welcomed the court’s issuance of arrest warrants to 27 personalities affiliated with the Community Empowerment Resource Network Inc. (CERNET), following the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decisive action in filing a case against the non-government organization for violating the Anti-Terrorism Financing Law.

On May 14, Judge Marlon Jay Moneva of the Regional Trial Court Branch 74 in Cebu City issued arrest warrants against 27 individuals, charging CERNET with breaching Section 8(ii) in relation to Section 9 of RA 10168, also known as the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012, emphasizing the critical role of financial accountability in combating terrorism, a statement issued by VISCOM said.

The evidence points to CERNET’s involvement in channeling funds to the CPP-NPA facilitating their violent and destabilizing activities since 2001, VISCOM further said.

Let this serve as a warning to anyone aiding, abetting, or conspiring with terrorist groups—no one is above the law, stressed Lt. Gen. Fernando Reyeg, VISCOM commander, in a statement.

Brig. Gen. Joey Escanillas, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, who was then the Joint Task Group Cebu head, said the issuance of arrest warrants marks a crucial step in their relentless pursuit of justice for the countless victims of CTG’s (Communist Terrorist Group) violent activities.

Escanillas now commands three Army battalions stationed in Negros Island.

On the other hand, the leadership of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division supports President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s position and recent pronouncement rejecting calls to abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“We thank the President for this assertion as ELCAC has been instrumental in significantly improving the peace and security situation in the country, particularly in Western and Central Visayas. Through ELCAC, various infrastructure development and quick impact projects have been realized, making Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) accessible for various socio-economic activities and opportunities,” Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, 3ID commander, said in a statement.

Since the creation of NTF-ELCAC in 2018, Sison said the 3ID has been at the forefront of implementing this whole-of-nation approach, recognizing its crucial contributions to the Division’s peace campaign in the Visayan Region.

Its hallmark program, the Barangay Development Program (BDP), has brought development to hundreds of formerly insurgency-ridden villages in Western and Central Visayas through a range of projects that offer long-term solutions to these communities’ socio-economic problems, he added. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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