The NTF-ELCAC and the ATC: Riding-in-Tandem as a Roving Band Against Basic Rights

NUPL President Atty. Edre Olalia /

We normally call out acts and entities more than the public personalities and motivations of individuals.

But except perhaps to the naive, apathetic, misguided or misinformed, one cannot help but see through who constitutes artificial institutions.

Both the National Task Force to End the Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) created under Executive Order 70 and the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) created under Republic Act 11479 are run by interlocking key players who primarily call the shots for their respective bodies.

Thus, both count the (1) National Security Adviser ret. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon; (2) Department of Defense ret. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana; (3) Department of Interior and Local Government ret. Gen. Eduardo Ano; and (4) Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra as the top honchos in the government’s anti-insurgency and anti-terrorism lead agencies and campaign.

Both bodies are led by the President for NTF-ELCAC and his alter ego, the Executive Secretary, for the ATC.

In addition, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency ret. Gen. Paul Monteagudo is a member of NTFELCAC and is at the same time the Secretariat of the ATC. Rounding up the composition of the NTFELCAC are the Philippine National Police Gen. Camilo Cascolan and Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay.

These speak for themselves.There is hence reasonable basis to connect the dots between who are ultimately politically and legally responsible for the weaponization of the law and the political excuse for
the trumped-up charges against activists and the opposition, the vicious red-tagging spree and the critics-bashing game by the propaganda mill of second-rate trying hard Goebbels copycats.

Would have been ridiculously pathetic were it not translated to extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests and detentions, nuisance suits, maligned reputations, and chilling effect in violation of due process, presumption of innocence, right to association, freedom of speech, expression and press and other basic civil and political rights.

As a matter of principle, we hope that these temporary holders of seemingly invincible power and their rabid stooges would not have to bewail when what goes around may come around in time. #

Edre U. Olalia
NUPL President