FOUR members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) said on Monday that the Makabayan Bloc or “KABAG” (Kabataan, Anakbayan, Bayan Muna, ACT, Gabriela) lawmakers are also officials of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
At the weekly virtual press briefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), former CPP official Jeffrey Celis alias “Ka Eric” certified that party-list lawmakers Neri Colmenares, Satur Ocampo, Liza Masa, and Teddy Casiño of the Makabayan Bloc are real operatives of the CPP-NPA-NDF, explaining that they all have personal knowledge and frequently met with the KABAG lawmakers during the Regional Committee meetings of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“We can look them directly to their eyes,” Celiz said, referring to the KABAG lawmakers whom they can point as CPP-NPA-NDF officials too.
He also said that there are three levels in the CPP-NPA-NDF meetings.
“We have what we call L1, L2 at L3 meetings. L1, Level 1 means an open meeting, with the public invited.If its L2 o Level 2, that would be an underground meeting, and if its Level 3, it is a (CPP) party meeting,” Celiz said. He also said he met the Makabayan Bloc members during those meetings.
Celiz also claimedthat the party-list representations are very important to the CTGs as they will work hand in hand with the armed struggle of the communist movement in the mountains and even urban operations. He said that the scheme is called Urban Operations and Bureaucratic Infiltration or “white area.”
Alma Gabin, the former Education Deputy Secretary of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee and a founding member of the Kabataan Partylist, said her stint at the CPP-NPA-NDF even made her as a nominee of the leftist youth group in 2010, rubbing elbows with top officials like trade union leader Dennis Velasco and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago.
Gabin recounted that the same person who recruited her in her college days is the same person who took her to an oath-taking not as a Kabataan Party member but as a CPP-NPA-NDF member.
“This is not red-tagging”, the former rebel insisted, “KABAG is directed to the mission of the CPP-NPA-NDF” which is to topple the government.
Ariane Jane Ramos, who just recently surrendered as a former Secretary of Guerilla Front 55, Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), and former Chairperson of Gabriela Youth of University of the Philippines in Mindanao narrated that she has a short-lived ‘urban operations’ experience, as she went and join the armed struggle as NPA fighter.
Ramos named her mentors as Rendell Ryan Edpan Cagula and Eric Jun Casilao, currently the secretary of the SMRC and the brother of former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Baring Casilao. And that the urban operations are their way to spread propaganda and formed the Partylist as legal fronts while recruiting more militant students.
In both ways, the urban and armed struggles, Ramos said is inter-connected as she confirmed that it both serve the interest of the CPP-NPA-NDF to topple the government and placed it under a communist state.
For her part, Joy Saguino aka “Ka Amihan,” the former Secretary of Guerilla Front 20, Sub-Regional Committee 1, SMRC and a former youth and student organizer of Anakbayan and Kabataan party-lists, said that the Makabayan Bloc or the legislative counterparts of the CPP-NPA-NDF are there to coverup the operations of the communist-linked schools such as the Salugpungan, Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) and others.
Saguino said that the KABAG Partylists even exploited government’s closing of these so-called Lumad schools of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
She added that these lawmakers have also been exploiting their positions to get funding and support from international organizations.
Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, NTF-ELCAC Spokesperson on New Media and Sectoral Concerns said the agency will take legal actions against some media companies such as Rappler and Vera Files as well as Facebook and “hold them accountable for allowing their fact-checkers, Rappler and Vera Files, to use the immense powers of this designation to operate with shameless impunity the spread of false information that is inimical to national security and to use their platform to harm the sovereignty of our nation, malign the government of the Republic of the Philippines and shake to its very core, the foundations of our Constitution.”