In a Laging Handa public briefing, Esperon said Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade and Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy were saying that some groups were acting as legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

Nagpapanggap lang! Esperon backs Parlade: Some groups acting as NPA fronts

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MANILA – National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Wednesday expressed support for two government officials accused of red-tagging activist groups.

In a Laging Handa public briefing, Esperon said Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade and Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy were saying that some groups were acting as legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“Hindi ko dedepensahan si Gen. Parlade at saka si Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, kung hindi susuportahan. Ano bang sinasabi ni Gen. Parlade? Na ang CPP-NPA ay mayroong mga underground organizations na mayroong front, legal na front (I won’t defend Gen. Parlade and Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, but I’ll support them. What is Gen. Parlade saying? That CPP-NPA has underground organizations with legal fronts),” he said.

Esperon cited the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), the largest teacher’s organization in the country, as an example claiming that they were being controlled by the Kalipunan ng mga Gurong Makabayan (Kaguma).

“Halimbawa, ang Kaguma o iyong Kalipunan ng mga Gurong Makabayan underground organization iyan at ang kaniyang lumalabas na organisasyon ay ang Alliance of Concerned Teachers (For example, Kaguma or the Kalipinan ng mga Gurong Makabayan is an underground organization and the organization it represents is the Alliance of Concerned Teachers),” he said.

He said Kaguma is an underground organization of the National Teachers Bureau of the CPP.

“Ang sinasabi ko, iyong mga miyembro ng ACT ay hindi mga komunista iyan kung hindi may mga nagku-control sa kanila na miyembro ng underground movement, iyong Kalipunan ng mga Gurong Makabayan. At iyan ay sa mga organo ng National Teacher’s Bureau ng Communist Party of the Philippines (What I’m saying is members of ACT are not communists, but there are groups controlling them that are members of an underground movement and that is the National Teacher’s Bureau of the Communist Party of the Philippines),” he added.

Esperon said the Confederation of Migrant Patriotic Filipinos is fronted by Migrante and the Kabataang Makabayan is the underground organization controlling the League of Filipino Students.

He also noted that Anakbayan, Kabataan party-list and College Editors Guild of the Philippines recruit members that are members of CPP.

Esperon also said women’s group Gabriela is controlled by the underground Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan while Courage is the front organization for the Makabayang Kawaning Pilipino.

He said the National Union of People’s Lawyers is a front for the Lupon ng mga Manananggol Para sa Bayan (Lumaban).

“Hindi natin sinasabi na iyong National Union of People’s Lawyers are members of the Communist Party pero may mga miyembro sa kanila ng nagku-control sa organisasyon na kasapi sa Communist Party of the Philippines (We’re not saying that the National Union of People’s Lawyers are members of the Communist Party but they have members who control organizations that are part of CPP),” he added.

Esperon also claimed that the Makabayan bloc recruits members to strengthen the underground organizations.

“Kaya iyon ang sinasabi ni Gen. Parlade na kayo ay mga front organizations at kasama na diyan ang Bayan or iyong Makabayan Bloc dahil nasa parliamentary struggle na nga sila ngunit ang kanilang trabaho talaga ay upang mapalakas iyong mga ibang organization or iyong underground organization sa kanilang pagri-recruit ng mga kasapi. Kaya ganoon din ang sinasabi ni Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, pareho sila ng sinasabi. Paano natin wawakasan itong armed revolution (That’s what Gen. Paralde is saying, that you are front organizations and included is the Makabayan Bloc because they have parliamentary struggle but their job is really to strengthen underground organizations by recruiting members),” he said.

Meanwhile, he praised both Paralade and Badoy for educating the public about the existence of groups acting as CPP-NPA’s legal fronts.

“Sinusuportahan ko at sinasabi ko rin, dinadagdagan ko iyong sinasabi nila kung hindi pa nila nasabi. Pero napakagaling ni Lorraine at saka ni General Parlade, nasasabi nila ang lahat (I support them and I’ll also add to what they say if they haven’t said it yet),” he said. “At ngayon lang kasi nangyayari na mayroon tayong mga spokespersons na ganito na talagang nagsasabi ng totoo at kailangan talaga magising na ang buong bayan (It’s only now that there are spokespersons telling the truth and the whole country needs to know).”

Parlade was criticized for advising actress Liza Soberano to abdicate her ties with Gabriela Youth after she participated in a webinar with the group while Badoy was asked by opposition lawmakers to resign after tagging members of the Makabayan bloc as “high-ranking members” of the CPP.

The CPP-NPA-NDF is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

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Trump back in NY for first time since leaving office

Former US president Donald Trump returned to his native New York on Monday for the first time since leaving the White House more than six weeks ago.

Trump — who now resides at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, but maintains his luxury residence atop Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue — was only seen briefly upon his arrival late Sunday.

A photo in the New York Post showed him waving through the back window of his black SUV — at the lone supporter who was on the street to greet him.

At midday Monday, about 20 Trump supporters rallied peacefully at the base of the glitzy skyscraper — surrounded by dozens of police officers.

Some carried signs saying “We Love Trump,” while others had a giant Trump 2024 flag.

“For the last two weeks, Donald Trump has been teasing us about running” once again for the presidency in 2024, said one of the rally organizers, Dion Cini.

“So now we’re challenging his tease. We want him to run in 2024. So, no more teasing — let’s get serious. We want Trump to run for ’24, we want a two-term Trump.”

Cini — clad in a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap — kept his eyes riveted on the upper floors of Trump Tower, in the hopes of catching even a fleeting glimpse of Trump or his sons Don Jr and Eric.

No one in the group knew if the 74-year-old Trump planned to come down and greet them, as he has done in the past in similar situations.

The real estate mogul’s reasons for returning to the Big Apple — a Democratic bastion easily won by Joe Biden in the November election — are for now unknown to the public. His office did not issue a statement or a schedule.

When asked about the visit, the Secret Service, which protects former US presidents, did not offer any information.

On social media, some Trump detractors said they hoped to see the ex-leader run into trouble with the law: the Manhattan district attorney and the New York state attorney general are conducting parallel investigations of the billionaire on suspicion of possible bank fraud, tax evasion or insurance fraud.

In late February, after a long legal battle, the office of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance said it had finally received years of Trump’s tax returns, after the Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch bid by Trump’s lawyers to block the move.

But it is not clear when the investigations might wrap up, or if Trump will eventually be indicted.

Agence France-Presse

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