The Philippines represented by National security adviser and director general of the National Security Council, Secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr., led a high-level delegation to the first-ever United Nations High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
Secretary Esperon presented the Philippine government’s programs and plans of action in combatting terrorism in the country on Friday, June 29, 2018.
Esperon said in his speech the country has been taking the necessary steps in the fight against terrorism, consistent with the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy. These include strengthening engagements with local and international bodies relative to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing, implementing the conventions related to chemical and biological weapons, and strengthening its partnership with the Interpol.
In the wake of the Marawi siege by the Islamic State-inspired Maute Terrorist Group, efforts at the domestic front were focused on strengthening the country’s anti-terrorism law, investigation and prosecution of personalities in the UN sanctions and national lists, implementing a national action plan in preventing and countering violent extremism, and fast-tracking the rehabilitation and rebuilding of Marawi City.
Esperon also emphasized the threat of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as an equally dangerous local terrorist group that is fueled by foreign ideology.
“The CPP-NPA has been committing the same brutal atrocities like the Daesh (Islamic State). CPP-NPA terrorists killed more than 10,000 soldiers, policemen, and civilians in one of the longest running insurgencies in the history of the world. It had entrenched itself in international organizations through its international solidarity networks,” Esperon said.
Esperon expressed hope that by locally proscribing the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization, the true nature of the group will be exposed to the community of nations as an equally brutal and dangerous presence in a peaceful democratic state.
The two-day conference was organized by the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, to provide an opportunity for the UN and Member States to forge new partnerships in addressing the complex and transnational threat of terrorism.
Other members of the Philippine delegation were National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director-General Alex Paul I. Monteagudo, Anti-Terrorism Council Officer-in-Charge Florentino P. Manalastas, Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Undersecretary Jose Luis G. Montales, the Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., and the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Kira Christianne D. Azucena.