Anti-communist groups and other civil society organizations on Tuesday called on the Makabayan bloc lawmakers to resign for allegedly recruiting minors to join the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Members of the League of Parents of the Philippines (LPP), Liga Independencia Pilipinas (LIPI), Hands Off Our Children (HOC), and Yakap ng mga Magulang along with former NPA members and parents of student activists who were reportedly recruited by progressive youth organizations, gathered at the Senate grounds to condemn the Makabayan bloc representatives for “continuously denying their ties with the communist groups.”
During the rally, the groups criticized the Makabayan bloc for not denouncing the atrocities and violence committed by the NPA members, saying “the representatives seem to serve as the rebels’ spokespersons and propaganda mouthpiece.”
LPP chair Remy Rosadio asked anew the youth organizations allegedly linked with the CPP-NPA to end the recruitment of minors to fulfill their “senseless cause.”
“You are just destroying our families. Stop using our children for your senseless revolution. Stop brainwashing them,” Rosadio said.
The groups said the vulnerability of the student activists is the primary target of the CPP-NPA recruitment.
As the Senate probes the issue of red-tagging, the Makabayan bloc denied anew the allegations of the former NPA cadres that their organizations are legal fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said it is wrong to associate him with the CPP-NPA without evidence.
“To conclude that I am engaged in the armed struggle, to conclude that I am doing something illegal and that is guilt by association, trial by publicity. That is what we want to avoid,” Casiño said.
Former Bayan Muna congressman Neri Colmenares said, “nobody should red-tag anybody on the ground of how he walks or talks.”
On the other hand, LIPI Secretary-General Ka Pep Goita called on House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco to investigate the Makabayan bloc lawmakers for ethical violations.
“Hinahamon namin si Speaker Velasco na magsagawa ng imbestigasyon sa ethics committee at patalsikin na sila bago mahuli pa ang lahat (We are challenging Speaker Velasco to conduct an investigation through the ethics committee and remove them before it would be too late),” Goita said.
A mom’s fight
Relissa Lucena, mother of Alicia Jasper (AJ), a student activist who was reportedly recruited by the youth group Anakbayan, hit the Makabayan bloc members for exploiting student activists outside their safe zones.
“They are using the public funds to destroy our children, to destroy our families,” Lucena said.
Lucena together with parents of youths who were missing for years, condemned all the politicians supporting the illegal activities of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“This armed conflict, exploitation of youth, and disgracing women’s dignities will not end unless these politicians will withdraw their support to the communist rebels,” Lucena said.
Lucena is the founder of the newly created group ‘Yakap ng mga Magulang’ which aimed at addressing the roots of youth recruitment to the communist groups. It also targets to protect children from exploitation, radicalization, as well as to save them from possible exposure to the communist revolution and other terroristic activities.
Meanwhile, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson and Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy slammed the CPP-NPA-NDF’s recruitment schemes using various deceptions and lies, through its alleged legal-front organizations.
“They don’t really care about social justice, they don’t really care about human rights,” Badoy said, adding that the communist movement is only destroying the country, Filipino values, and the children’s better future.
Badoy said it is the moral responsibility of the public servants to defend and protect the Filipino people.
During the rally, the protesters burned a tarpaulin bearing the image of CPP founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison as they condemned the 52 years of atrocities, killings of innocents, unhampered terror attacks, and relentless recruitment of minors by the communist rebels.
The groups also presented a live mural painting that depicts the struggle of the parents against the continuous brainwashing and exploitation of the youth by the CPP-NPA-NDF.
The anti-communist groups pleaded for an end of the armed conflict caused by the NPA, armed wing of the CPP.
CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)