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)