The Philippine Government through the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine law enforcement agencies have remained on their toes, responding to these threat and acts of terrorism and finding ways and means to effectively address the menace in different parts of the country. They continue to enhance their security postures against terrorists, pre-empting their plans from escalating into acts of terrorism.
The Philippine Government enacted Republic Act No. 9372 (RA 9372) known as the “Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007”, on 6 March 2007. RA 9372 has 62 sections that criminalize as well as penalize acts of terrorism. It provides the elements of the crime, criminalized acts and the tools that empower law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism in the country.
The “Terrorism Financing Prevention And Suppression Act of 2012”
was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on June 17, 2012 the Law will strengthen the capability of government to makes terror financing a crime, identify and prevent financial transactions related to illegal activities and those that challenge global security.
- The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC)
Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) - The enactment of the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007, otherwise known as Republic Act 9372, led to the creation of the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC). The ATC is the inter-agency body organized to implement the HSA and assumes the responsibility for the proper and effective implementation of the country’s anti-terrorism policy. Its function also includes the formulation and adoptions of a comprehensive, adequate, efficient, and effective anti-terrorism plans, programs, and counter-measures to suppress and eradicate terrorism and to protect all people from act of terrorism.
ATC’s Four Focus Programs:
- National Terrorism Prevention Program
- Target Hardening - removing the opportunity
- Law Enforcement - addressing the tools
- Intent Eradication - Psy-Ops / discouraging the terrorist
- . Capacity Building Program
- . Legal & International Affairs Program
- . Operational Readiness Assessment and Compliance Monitoring Program
- ATC-Program Management Center (ATC-PMC)
The ATC-Program Management Center (ATC-PMC) was created through ATC Resolution No. 32 to Administer, control & supervise the ATC focus programs intended to: 1.) strengthen and improve the existing legal frameworks to include crafting and passage of new anti-terrorism laws, if necessary; 2.) improve capabilities of law enforcers and security officers in the fight against terrorism; and 3.) improve institutional platform including inter-agency cooperation and designing mechanism that would ensure effective collaboration of agencies and the private sector in the prevention, suppression and prosecution of terrorism-related cases.
- PNP task Force Sanglahi Alpha
The Philippine National Police PNP is the Agency of Primary Responsibility in the Implementation of Anti/Counter Terrorism Policy and Operational Directives from ATC. PNP task Force Sanglahi Alpha is the designated operating unit of the PNP against terrorism. (Resolution No. 34 issued by the Anti-Terrorism Council)
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other law enforcement agencies shall provide the necessary support to PNP to ensure successful law enforcement operations against the terrorists.
- Joint Terrorist Financing Investigation Group (JTFIG):
An inter-agency coordination involving law enforcement units that continue to work on providing intelligence/information on personalities and/or groups in order to investigate and discover terrorist financial networks.
- Regional Anti-Terrorism Council Convergence Group – National Capital Region (RATCCG NCR):
RATCCG includes information sharing on terrorism related threats and updates on target hardening and terrorism-related cases.
- Philippine Technical Working Group (TWG) on Monitoring of Foreign Fighters:
- The TWG concept started as an off-shoot of the INTERPOL Counter Terrorism Fusion Center (CTFC) Project PACIFIC Operational Working Group Meeting which was held at the Marco Polo Hotel, in Cebu City on 18-20 June 2014.
- The TWG’s creation was pursuant to an ES Memorandum dated 14 July 2014
- Aims to develop a Database that will focus on Monitoring and Profiling of “Persons of Interest”
- Identifies routes and modus operandi in crossing borders
- Formulate response protocol and policy systems
In 2015 the PNP reported at least 19 suspected terrorist elements were neutralized which include:
- Neutralization of High Profile Terrorist Personalities
- Zulkifli bin Hir, @ Marwan is a Malaysian terrorist who was one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Most Wanted Terrorist with a USD 5 million reward for his capture. He was the maker of bombs delivered for usage to several terrorist groups. He was a leader of the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia, part of the central command of the Jemaah Islamiya. Marwan, was killed in a raid by the Philippines National Police on January 25, 2015
- Basit Usman one of US most wanted terrorist, serve as a trainer of IED construction and employment and responsible for multiple attacks and bombing in Southern Philippines. Usman was neutralized on may 3, 2015 in Maguindanao.
- Discoveries of Terrorist Financial Networks Links
Khair Mundos, key leader and financier of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), facilitates the transfer of funds from the Al-Qaida to ASG’s late leader Khadaffy Janjalani. He was arrested by the PNP on June 11, 2014 in Parañaque City.
PNP ANTI-CYBER CRIME GROUP
The PNP Created a Cyber Terrorism Response Team (CTRT) trained to monitor and respond to cyber threats and attacks link to terrorism.