Wed. May 18th, 2022

By Gigie Arcilla 

MANILA – The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) on Wednesday described as a pitiful case the recent complaint filed by research group IBON against three government officials over alleged red-tagging, saying defending the State is never a crime.

In a statement, the NTF ELCAC said the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), had lost miserably and repeatedly in the legal forum of their allegations of red-tagging, thus, they now try their luck before the Office of the Ombudsman in the hope of finding favorable judgment and awfully begging for the immediate dismissal of Southern Luzon Command chief Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.

“As those previous (cases) before it, is perfectly bound to fail. It is never a crime to defend the State. In fact, the impleaded officials will be remiss of their sworn duty and obligation if they fail to inform and save the People from the enemies that lurk within their jurisdiction,” the statement read.

It added that the NTF ELCAC, which was crafted through the issuance of Executive Order No. 70, is once again being vilified and disparaged by the CPP-NPA-NDF and its legal fronts for supposedly weaponizing the law by using the laws of the Land to suppress dissent and critics.

The communist groups’ usual spokespersons, it said, are at their old deceitful tricks again with arguments that are loud but pitifully empty.

“It is the CPP-NPA-NDF and their legal fronts that are weaponizing the law, and in the process, abusing the resources of the government, and bringing into ill-repute the judicial process of the country if their cases are found to be without cause and eventually dismissed,” the statement said.

The statement added that this is evidenced by their continuous filing of cases over alleged red-tagging, against the President of the Philippines, and other high ranking officials, but were repeatedly dismissed by the courts, the statement added, referring those dismissed by the Court of Appeals, for utter lack of merit such as NUPL et al., vs. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, et al. CA GR SP No. 00067; and KARAPATAN et al., vs. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, et al. CA- GR SP No.00066, WRA, to mention a few.

“Without a doubt, these cases are designed to harass the government officials and hamper the dutiful exercise of their government functions,” it said.

No sense of triumph

Meanwhile, the NTF ELCAC said there is no sense of triumph, but immense sadness and sorrow from the government when cases of grave offenses are filed against young activist turned armed communists.

“These cases are reminders that the State must be consistently vigilant in steering its youth from the virus that is the CPP-NPA-NDF. Seemingly, not much is gained from these cases, only due process taking its natural course with the hope that these deceived youth changed their ways and go back to the fold of the law,” the statement read.

It lamented that despite the lawful arrest of these young combatants, the government will be attacked once more by communist groups on the following fronts: the arrest will be used as illegitimate cause to again vilify, attack, and slander the government; Will exploit and use the incarceration of these young activists turned armed combatants into justifying their illicit donation drives and again duping well-meaning people of their hard-earned resources; and will again use their detention as platform for their nefarious recruitment and radicalization of the youth.

“The Republic, as an invigorated attempt to restrain these CTGs (communist terrorist groups) from recruiting its youth into the communist armed conflict, had filed a historic case against the CTGs legal fronts, their top officials, and their recruiters for kidnapping, violation of international humanitarian law, and serious illegal detention, among others, in the courts using the theory of radicalization to show criminal complicity on the part of these people,” the statement said.

It defined radicalization as a form of brainwashing – a method used by violent extremist organizations like ISIS and the Abu Sayyaf to recruit youth into their violent propaganda.

“This is an evil tactic perfected by the CPP-NPA –NDF. This radicalization cases only prove the desire of the State to save its youth from the violent communist movement,” it added.

The government, the NTF ELCAC said, welcomes activism from its youth and expects nothing less, for it is the youth’s solemn vow and duty to call on the government to institutionalize powerful changes and ensure societal justice.

“But it draws the line when one raises arm against the State as the same is an assault to the People and the principles it stands for. If this course is inevitable, the Rule of Law is supreme,” the statement said. (iam/

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