Año wants Hamas declared as terrorist group

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star
Año wants Hamas declared as terrorist group
Israeli troops inspect the ravaged site of the weekend attack on the Supernova desert music Festival by Palestinian militants near Kibbutz Reim in the Negev desert in southern Israel on October 10, 2023.
AFP / Jack Guez

MANILA, Philippines — National Security Adviser (NSA) Eduardo Año wants the militant group Hamas to be officially designated and declared as a foreign terrorist organization in the Philippines.

“In solidarity with the people of Israel, we will push for the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization under RA 11479 as a priority agenda of the Anti-Terrorism Council,” he said in a statement yesterday condemning the attack on Israel.

“This was a deadly and barbaric terrorist assault on Israel targeting its civilian population and Israel has every right, as much as any nation, to defend and protect itself from this attack which has already claimed more than 1,200 lives, including that of two (now three) Filipinos and wounded some 3,000 others,” Año said.

With what happened and another three Filipinos still missing or unaccounted for, he said Hamas should be declared as a terrorist group under Philippine law.

“Together with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., we hope for a swift resolution to this conflict, we pray for the safety of innocent civilians and we offer our thanks to the government of Israel for its efforts to protect our citizens,” Año said.


Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro meanwhile gave assurance that the Philippine government is ready to rescue Filipinos trapped in Israel and Gaza.

“Yes, we are ready, willing and able, actually, to facilitate repatriation. That’s the duty not only of the Armed Forces of the Philippines but also the Office of Civil Defense and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC),” he declared.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the Philippines’ hosting of the 2024 Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Pasay City, Teodoro said other relevant government agencies are assessing the situation.

“But we stand ready to do whatever is required of us,” he added, noting that through the NDRRMC, concerned government agencies may converge and talk “so that when and if repatriation is needed, we can decide what is the most expeditious means possible.”


Teodoro added that the security sector is not letting its guard down and is also on the lookout for the possible emergence of copycats, particularly disruptors or extremist groups who may copy whatever happened in the Middle East.

“For now we haven’t seen that but it does not mean to say that we are (not) monitoring possible spillover or copycat effects. For now, we are not seeing any,” he said in English and Filipino.

“I mean it always happens. So any country in this part of the world or any part of the world, even in Europe, they’re on high alert for the possible effects of this on their security situations,” he said.

“It’s not only here that things happen, you know there have been ISIS spin-offs in France, in UK, wherever. Terrorism is a possibility anywhere.”

Teodoro said the DND and the government should be ready for any eventuality and it needs the help and support of the public.

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