By Priam Nepomuceno (PNA)
MANILA – It is the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria “Joma” Sison who is to be blamed for identifying and “red-tagging” militants and activists allied to their cause.
This, according, to Southern Luzon Command chief, Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., in response to the group’s complaint that activists, individuals and organizations have been red-tagged baselessly since the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in 2018.
“First, we did not red-tag activists because it was Jose Maria Sison who red-tagged them himself,” he said.
Parlade, in a statement, clarified that the government does not lump activists and militants into one group because activism is welcome in a democracy while terrorism is not.
He added that such lumping is the practice of communist terrorists as it is part of their formula for deception.
An Anakbayan member demanding for lower tuition fees, he said, is welcome in a democracy and world’s apart from a Kabataang Makabayan member, the underground component of Anakbayan, who shouts “rebolusyon ang solusyon sa lipunan”.
“Your deliberate misuse of the term ‘activist’ is the usual tactic of dragging unwitting and genuine activists into the trap, inciting them even more against government until they all convert into armed members of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front),” said Parlade, also of the NTF ELCAC.
He added that this so-called “red-baiting” is a design of communist rebels and their allies, not the government.
“NTF ELCAC will expose your bad behavior and this time you cannot get away with it. Your duplicity will be dealt with appropriately,” he said.
He added that a Karapatan member who bears arms to fight together with the NPA terrorists will be arrested, just like what happened to Alexa Pacalda of Quezon and Glendhyl Malabanan of Palawan.
“They were former Karapatan activists who were arrested because they ceased to be activists and morphed into terrorists when they joined the NPA. For starters, there now exists damning evidence- a video showing Malabanan and Pacalda training with arms with the New People’s Army,” he said.
A PASAKA (confederation of indigenous people’s organizations) leader/peasant member who figures in armed encounters with the government will be killed or captured, just like what happened to Datu Kaylo Botulan of Davao and Emerito Pinza of Laguna, because they ceased to be peasant activists, he added.
“They crossed the line and died with firearm slings across their dead bodies,” he said.
He also cited the case of teacher Analyn Bito-on of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in Negros whom Parlade said was arrested, not for being an activist of ACT, her legal cover, but for being secretary of Katipunan ng mga Gurong Makabayan (KAGUMA) – the underground and illegal organization hiding within ACT.
“Analyn Bito-on alias ‘Dobol’ or ‘Chinchin’ was, in fact, a platoon leader of LPC (Leonardo Panaligan Command) of Komiteng Rehiyon Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (NCBS) CPP-NPA in Negros, in which she ceased to be an activist and became a terrorist the very second she took up arms against government,” he added.
“The same is true with Noly Rosales,” he said, adding that he another of those claimed by militants to be a simple trade union member in Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (NCBS). “Was he harassed as an activist? No, he was arrested for being alias ‘Talisa’, a former member of Sentro de Grabidad, Far South Regional Party Committee, CPP-NPA in Mindanao, hiding in plain view above ground in Negros, using his legal cover.”
He added that many instances debunked claims that government evidences against these terrorist communists are only made-up.
“So, Mr. (Sonny) Africa (IBON Foundation executive director), we have with us only the ‘spectral evidence in our minds?’ Your legitimate government is now finally doing its job, after flip-flopping for 32 years with your fake peace talk overtures which only served to prolong the suffering of the Filipino people by way of this insurgency,” Parlade said.
And with the Duterte administration doing everything in its authority to bring to justice communist terrorists who brought great harm to its citizens, he said the NTF ELCAC intensify moves against these groups who have proven to be a scourge to the Philippines.
“The NTF ELCAC will step up its campaign to end this scourge and be more single-minded in running after those who have done grievous harm to our country and its citizens but will always give wide latitude for peaceful dissenters because dissent is part and parcel of democracy,” he added.
He also slammed IBON’s claims that “red-tagging” allegations had already resulted in the extrajudicial killing of 293 activists by suspected state forces.
Such killings, he said, are the handiwork of communist terrorists citing the case of James Durimon alias “Jurros” who was trained by the NPA in Panay to be an assassin since he was 12.
“Ask Jurros how many ordinary peasants and activists the CPP ordered him killed in order to blame the government of PRRD (President Rodrigo R. Duterte). It’s a challenge to Africa so he will know how small-minded he has become,” he said.
And before accusing NTF ELCAC of being a “hub of a great wheel of authoritarianism and repression”, he reminded the NPA and its allies that they are the ones who took an oath to the CPP, with an M-16 bullet, to remind them that they are to advocate violence to achieve their end which the establishment of dictatorship, a thing which these very same communist terrorists are claiming to loathe.
“IBON executives are closing what little democratic space is left, after these commies have infiltrated the ranks of the youth, peasants, church, indigenous peoples, in the guise of defending the unjust social and economic status quo. They trumpet democratic values but destroy it with IBON publication of manuals promoting Marxist and Leninist thoughts to children as young as Grade 4,” Parlade said.
Spare other IBON staff
While Africa can deny these allegations all he wants, he urged the former to spare his IBON staff as these individuals are not aware of the mess they were dragged into.
“Soon it will be part of pieces of evidence we will expose, to defend ourselves in the case you have filed with the Ombudsman,” he added.
Parlade said these pieces of evidence will be used in the criminal cases the government will file against Africa and IBON for the grave crime of treason.
He went on to ask what “widespread disillusionment with the system” that Africa attributes to the growing number of activists among the ranks of students and youth, teachers, workers, women, and journalists alike.
“And what is that ‘system’ you are so disillusioned with? Our democratic way of life, right? That is why you want it replaced with your ‘proletarian dictatorship’ (CPP Constitution and Programs May 2017),” he said.
While agreeing with comments that “repression will not cure social and economic distress”, he said he believes that the radicalization of children through IBON books will also not benefit the country.
“Rather than develop productive citizens who will find ways to improve our lot, minds destroyed by the radicalism you’ve caused ‘will just further damage the prospects for development and improving the lives of tens of millions of Filipinos seeking real change for the better’. That is according to you,” he said.
He added that this is not fantasy as the government is now taking the challenge to prove that IBON is guilty of crimes against public order, directly and indirectly.
“We will also ‘continue to advocate for the radical reforms the Filipino people need and deserve’. It starts with correcting misrepresentation of democratic ideals which these duplicitous and deceitful front organizations of the CPP have been promoting,” he added.
“So Africa, don’t lecture us about bad behavior because you are about to get a highly deserved spanking,” Parlade said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)