A former member and organizer of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines on Monday asserted his knowledge of the “direct communication and supervision” of Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison on the newsmen’s group.
The statement came about a week after the same source, who called himself “Ka Ernesto” but did not divulge his real identity, made headlines in local tabloids and regional newspapers for calling out the “deceit and lies” of the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, ahead of the communist group’s 50th anniversary last Dec. 26.
In a statement also issued Monday, the NUJP disowned their supposed member and denounced the continued efforts in linking them to the communist revolutionary movement, saying the tagging “is part of an orchestrated effort to intimidate them into silence.”
NUJP officers found themselves answering requests for interviews from community news outfits around the country, soliciting reactions to charges by the so-called Ka Ernesto.
When the union asked where the story originated from, the community outfits invariably pointed to banner stories carried by a number of Manila-based tabloids—Police Files Tonite, Bagong Bomba and Saksi Mata ng Katotohanan—which carried the exact same headline: “NUJP pinamumunuan ng CPP-NPA-NDF” (NUJP headed by CPP-NPA-NDF), the latter initials referring to the National Democratic Front, which Sison heads.
“It is hilarious that they keep repeating these charges since the NUJP’s membership represents a broad spectrum of creeds and political beliefs bound by a common dedication to defending and expanding the bounds of freedom of the press and of expression,” the newsmen’s group statement read. “But, as they say, stupid is as stupid does.”
Ka Ernesto, who requested that his full name not be made public for the sake of his personal safety as well as his family’s, said the link between NUJP and CPP “is part of a collective effort of people from the communist organization supervised by a certain RSV, the group’s political officer.”
He said the NUJP has a direct link with the Utrecht-based Sison and the communist leadership because of a “special operation” the journalists are supposedly spearheading—that is, to shield members of the NPA who are getting arrested.
Being a “longtime member” of the CPP, Ka Ernesto said he is a witness of the communications and dialogues of “RSV” and a certain “JMS” on Facebook Messenger and other social media chat apps, and claimed to have deciphered messages of those communications.
He said he has been with the movement for a long time and he can attest to the fact that the operations and leanings of NUJP are being manipulated by the communist group.
Ka Ernesto claimed to be a pioneer of the NUJP and had been active in recruiting and influencing laborers to form union groups in different newspaper companies.
He said he started out as a youth organizer for the College Editors Guild of the Philippines and became editor-in-chief of a college paper of a known university in Metro Manila.
He added that he did finish his college degree after he was convinced by the CPP to go full time in the group’s “legal point.”
This is the second time in a few weeks the NUJP has been linked to the rebels since a certain Mario Ludades, claiming to be one of the founders of the CPP, accused the group of being a “legal front” of the underground movement in stories run by several outfits on Dec. 26, incidentally the 50th anniversary of the CPP.
Ka Ernesto, however, said the CPP “will get back at him” since he had been speaking of the “wrongdoings” of the communist group.
He said he spent 12 years as the movement’s organizer of youth for the CPP and as a fact-finding journalist in areas where the NPA is being defeated by government troops during encounters.
There is no way the communists can oust President Rodrigo Duterte who enjoys a very high trust and approval ratings from the people, Ka Ernesto added.