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NDFP claims Duterte admin will red tag progressive individuals, groups abroad

By ANNA FELICIA BAJO, GMA News Online, Dec. 14, 2020

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has claimed that the Duterte administration, through the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), will “export its terror activities” in other nations, particularly in North America and Europe.

In a press statement dated December 12, the NDFP International Information Office said the present administration is supposedly planning to establish NTF-ELCAC cells in North America and Europe “to undertake surveillance and red-tagging of progressive compatriot organizations, foreign solidarity friends and entities, anti-Duterte individuals and personalities, especially open leaders of the NDFP and its peace panel.” 

The NDFP warned that these individuals could possibly be the target of neutralization and assassination of the Duterte administration. The information came from progressive Filipino groups abroad, it added. 

“This horrible scheme calls to mind the brutal assassination of militant Filipino-American trade unionists and anti-Marcos activists Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes in Seattle in June 1981, upon orders of fascist dictator Marcos who was found liable by a federal jury for the murders,” the NDFP said. 

“General Hermogenes Esperon, vice-chair of the NTF-ELCAC, and who apparently is calling the shots in the NTF-ELCAC, was then part of top-level military officers, under diplomatic cover, sent by Marcos to the US, according to the US’ Defense Intelligence Agency, to ‘monitor and operate against’ his opposition there, among them Domingo and Viernes, who were subsequently assassinated,” it added. 

According to the NDFP, the NTF-ELCAC has conducted expensive junkets abroad, specifically in the US, Canada and in Europe,” to embellish the bloody image of the Duterte regime as a fascist regime and a reprehensible violator of international laws on human rights. 

Included in these alleged trips were Southern Luzon Command commander Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. and NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, the group said. 

“What they got were measly audiences in Philippine-embassy funded forums that assembled only Duterte’s hardcore supporters,” the NDFP said. 

The NDFP noted that those who will be red tagged abroad are democratic and progressive organizations and groups of compatriots, including foreign religious organizations, reputable development agencies extending socio-economic projects to the poorest of the poor in the homefront, and even some officials of the United Nations. 

The NDFP noted that those who will be red tagged abroad are democratic and progressive organizations and groups of compatriots, including foreign religious organizations, reputable development agencies extending socio-economic projects to the poorest of the poor in the homefront, and even some officials of the United Nations. 

‘Nervous’

Asked for reaction, Esperon said, “Why will I dignify their fears, suspicions and illusions?” 

He just said the group seemed to be “nervous.” 

“Mukhang masyado na silang nerbiyoso. Palibhasa alam na ng lahat ang duplicitous nature nila ma-legal with underground organizations,” Esperon said. 

‘Red tagged everyone’

The NDFP further said NTF-ELCAC has “red-tagged, demonized and threatened” everyone from a cross-section of Philippine society in order to intimidate and instill fear among the public. 

“GRP President Duterte’s greatest nightmare is to be made accountable for his crimes against the Filipino people after his term expires in 2022,” the NDFP said, adding that Duterte’s instilling fear among the public is a move to ensure that the Duterte family and its cohorts will be off the hook for the crimes they allegedly committed. 

“With their barbaric transgressions of the people’s rights, Duterte and his fascist clique will have to eventually face justice for their war crimes, domestically and internationally, and spend their inevitable retirement either in jail or in hell,” the NDFP said. 

President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017 said he considers the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-NDFP a “terrorist group.”

In June this year, Duterte said communists were the biggest threat to the Philippines.

“The number one threat to the country, hindi Abu Sayyaf, hindi mga terorista of no value. Ito ‘yong high-value targets, itong mga komunista,” Duterte said in his nationally-televised address.

Last month, Duterte accused militant organizations of being participants in a grand conspiracy led by the CPP to oust the government.

He indicated that groups such as the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives, Bayan and Gabriela were not being red-tagged but were being named definitively as fronts for the CPP and the NDFP.

A government official on Friday slammed claims of red-tagging by left-leaning groups, saying these were used to discredit the anti-terror law.

Undersecretary Severo Catura of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat said it was CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison who had identified some progressive groups as legal fronts of the CPP, a charge the exiled communist leader has denied.

Earlier this month, Malacañang asked left-leaning groups to stop denying their alleged ties to communist rebels and renounce the use of arms to destabilize government.

Palace spokesperson Harry Roque made the appeal as he justified Duterte’s tirades against so-called “front organizations” of the CPP-NPA such as the Makabayan bloc and Bayan.

“Let’s be honest. Itigil na iyan na nagsisinungaling pa sila na red-tagging eh Red naman talaga sila sabi ni Presidente. Totoo naman po iyan eh. Ang hinihingi lang natin, you can be a Red without necessarily endorsing the use of arms,” Roque said at a press briefing.

The House Makabayan Bloc maintained that they are not communist rebels out to destabilize the government, and accused Duterte of resorting to diversionary tactic to mask his administration’s alleged inefficiencies. —KG, GMA News

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