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The ruling of a court in Basilan declaring the Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist group will boost the government‘s campaign against terrorism, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said yesterday.
“The proscription will facilitate prosecution not only of members of the group, but also of supporters and financiers of the organization under the Human Security Act and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said in a statement.
In a 19-page resolution, Isabela City Regional Trial Court Branch 9 Judge Danilo Bucoy, cited the preamble of the Abu Sayyaf charter, noting it is “resolute and determined to use whatever means, including terrorism, if only to achieve its purpose…to supplant the existing form of government with their own version of an Islamic State.”
The DOJ released a copy of the resolution yesterday.
The court said the concept and essence of terrorism, though not stated in the preamble were “all over it and…deemed written into it.”
It also gave weight to documents and the testimonies of four witnesses that the bandit group aims to terrorize and sow widespread and extraordinary panic among the public.
“These witnesses have passed the court’s careful and intense scrutiny regarding their demeanor, attitude and mannerism on the witness stand. The court find them credible,” according to the resolution.
The court said the Abu Sayyaf was also guilty of coercing the government to comply with its unlawful demands in exchange for the life of its victims.
Several Abu Sayyaf hostages had been beheaded after negotiations for the payment of ransom bogged down.
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