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Reds using party-list groups to destroy gov’t: ex-rebels

Party-list groups motive to destroy government

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(PNA / Jose Cielito Reganit)

MANILA – Two former communist rebels on Wednesday bared that leftist party-list groups, as well as other leftist organizations, are being used by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army (CPP-NPA) to destroy the government from within.

One of them was 21-year-old “Allem” who testified before the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on how she was recruited into the NPA when she was only a 16-year-old student of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

The Senate panel, which is headed by Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, has been conducting a hearing on the plight of mothers whose children went “missing” after being allegedly recruited by leftist groups.

In the course of her testimony, Allem admitted to the lawmakers that it was in 2014 when she joined the League of Filipino Students (LFS), later on joining the Kabataang Makabayan (KM).

She fully joined the NPA in October 2017 and left it in April 2018.

As a member of the LFS, she said among their activities was to conduct lightning rallies in the PUP campus, wearing red masks with the KM logo and shouting: “Sagot sa kahirapan ay digmaang bayan. Kabataan, sumampa sa kabundukan, sumapi sa New People’s Army (The answer to poverty is people’s war. Youth, go to the mountains and join the New People’s Army).”

In 2016, she was among the youth who campaigned for the Kabataan party-list group, whose nominee, Sarah Elago, regained her seat at the House of Representatives.

“During the campaign period, members of the LFS and Anakbayan na member na rin ng Kabataang Makabayan, binasahan kami sa pag-aaral namin tungkol sa revolutionary dual tactics: na kinakailangan na hindi lang ang armadong pakikibaka ang kailangang palakasin namin kundi kailangan din naming pasukin ang gobyerno para pabagsakin ang gobyerno (During the campaign, members of the LFS and Anakbayan, who were also members of the KM, were tutored on revolutionary dual tactics: that we needed not only to strengthen the armed struggle but also to infiltrate the government to bring down the government),” Allem told the lawmakers.

Ang ibig sabihin, kinakailangan din naming makapagpanalo ng mga party-list o senador para yun po ang magiging susi namin para mapabagsak ang gobyerno (It means that we needed to have a party-list or a senator win in the elections, which will be the key to oust the government),” she said.

In this way, the former rebel said the communist movement would have a representative within the government.

Dahil ang itinuro sa amin, kinakailangang pasukin ang gobyero para wasakin ang gobyerno (It was what was taught to us, that we need to infiltrate the government to destroy the government). Use democracy to destroy democracy,” Allem said.

“So you want to confirm itong agam-agam ng iba na itong mga party-list na makakaliwa ay talagang merong ulterior motive na papasok sa gobyerno para sirain ang gobyerno (So you want to confirm the allegations that these leftist party-list groups really have an ulterior motive in entering the government to destroy the government)?,” dela Rosa asked the young former rebel.

Opo! (Yes),” Allem replied.

Allem added that her allegations were based on her personal experiences in the communist movement.

“Personal ko po itong naranasan kung paano kami ginamit hanggang gabi na nagdidikit ng poster ng Kabataan party-list dahil iligal kaya ginagawa namin ng gabi (This is my personal experience, how we are used to put posters of Kabataan party-list at night because it’s illegal that’s why we post them at night) ,” Allem said.

Another former rebel, Agnes Reano backed Allem’s statements.

Like Allem, Reano was recruited by the Alliance of Students Against Tuition Fee Increase in the 1980s.

She was also present when the student organization morphed into the LFS in 1983.

Totoo po yun. Ang intent lahat nyan para pabagsakin ang gobyerno (It’s all true. Their intent is to overthrow the government),” she told the lawmakers, referring to the front organizations that recruited them.

When dela Rosa asked the former rebel if she was only referring to the front organizations, Reano said the party-list groups are included in the scheme.

Kasama po ang partylists. Kaya nila pinasok ang political mainstream arena para magkaroon sila ng… to legitimize… magkaroon sila ng legal face (The party-lists are included. The reason they entered the mainstream political arena is to have legitimacy, a legal face),” the former political officer of the NPA’s Bicol Regional Party Committee said.

“We want to destroy the government, but this is the same government that is helping us,” she added.

The two former rebels also told lawmakers how the NPA is using legitimate protest movements organized by leftist groups to ferry cadres in integration programs across the country.

Allem, who hails from Metro Manila, told the lawmakers that she went to Mindanao through “Manilakbayan” in 2017.

During the Manilakbayan, Lumads in Mindanao were taken to Manila to supposedly air their grievances.

“When they went back to Mindanao ng September 2017, we went with them, around 23-25 students from Manila. It was an integration program into the NPA,” Allem said.

In Mindanao, she said she spent three months in Bukidnon and another three months in Compostela Valley.

For Reano, it was the “Lakbayan” or Lakad para sa Bayan during her time.

“From Bicol to Manila, may kasama kaming estudyante na na-recruit namin na i-integrate namin sa (we have with us student-recruits that we will integrate into) Central and Northern Luzon,” she said.

The former NPA political officer said even the march of Sumilao farmers was used by the NPA for the same purpose.

“It is a tactic to transport youth recruits to be integrated. Nag-iiba lang ang pangalan (The names are just changed) to adjust to the signs of the times,” Reano said.

The 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.

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