Anti-red-tagging bill – cui bono?
By Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. / The Manila Times
I HAVE written a lot about red-tagging and what it is not, and I promise I won't stop until we get to the bottom of it. I don't mind being repetitive if only to put the message across on this undying issue. To those of you who understood it well, you can just skip this piece, but I assure you if you read along you will have a better grasp of the underlying reasons why this red-tagging is a very important fight for the communists and their ilk.
I already emphasized in my past articles why Jose Maria Sison concocted this strategy, albeit not his original, in order to shield his minions in the Philippines who are doing underground work for the armed rebels, while also doing seemingly legitimate work through the open mass organizations. Let us remember that he has managed to convince his European friends that he is a freedom fighter and is in Europe for political asylum. He has to keep these sympathizers convinced that he is not part of a violent effort to overthrow a democratically elected government. He continues to lie to his communist friends that, just like communists in Europe, his group in the Philippines has nothing to do with this terrorist group, the New People's Army (NPA).
But Joma keeps committing major blunders because of his arrogance. While he wants to keep the work of the National Democratic Front (NDF) covert, he keeps on announcing what these organizations are. He did mention again all these subversive organizations of the NDF during its 49th anniversary, the most notorious of which is the NPA. He did mention also the Katipunan Ng Gurong Makabayan (Kaguma), to which party-list Rep. France Castro belongs; Kabataang Makabayan (KM), where Rep. Sarah Elago belongs; Malayang Kilusan ng Makabagong Kababaihan (Makibaka), where Rep. Arlene Brosas belongs; and Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions (RCTU), where most of the KMU leaders belong, etc.
Recently, hundreds of members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT); Anakpawis; Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU); Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage); Karapatan; and General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership and Action (Gabriela) abandoned their organizations and stated how they were financially exploited by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). This was the reason why Randy Malayao was meted punishment by the CPP, on top of his sexual opportunism case involving the wife of a fellow cadre. Financial opportunism is also the reason why Honey Mae Suazo, Karapatan-Northern Mindanao secretary general, has been hiding from her organization after she absconded with party funds.
The number of front organization members abandoning their group keeps increasing each week. Many are also silently distancing themselves from their organizations. In my area of responsibility alone, the chairman of Karapatan-Quezon, Genelyn Dichoso, has already surrendered, following the surrender of the Gabriela regional chairman earlier. An additional 14 members of the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagaluga-Kilusang Mayo Uno (Pamantik-KMU), who are employed at Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. in Laguna, have surrendered and admitted to being part of the RCTU. This was the second batch following the surrender of Raffy Baylosis and 33 of his colleagues in July of last year. To be clear, these are members of KMU who have already undergone tour of duty with the NPA and had returned to their place of work to recruit more members.
In April alone, 99 members of the NPA surrendered in Bicol and 17 in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. And there appears to be no stopping the phenomenon. This May, additional 15 NPA members of Platoon Bluff, L1, surrendered in Ligao, Albay, along with three M16, an AK47, 1 M1 Garand rifle, and three small arms. They joined the 30 regular NPA members with 33 assorted high- and-low-powered firearms from Palanas, Masbate who surrendered last May 4. Last week, still in Masbate, eight regular NPA members surrendered, along with 1 M16, 1 shotgun, and 9 pistols all belonging to L1, KP4.
What about their Militiang Bayan (MB) and Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL)? We see the same trend. Since April of this year, 34 MB and SPL members have surrendered in the Southern Luzon Command area, bringing with them assorted firearms, ammunition and explosive materials. These are members of the CPP shadow government in the locality, and they provide replacement for NPA rebels getting killed or surrendering.
These are the real reasons why the left and their allies wanted to stop red-tagging. They are losing their influence in the barangay and in the white areas. The continuous exposure of the CPP and its links to the armed struggle is also threatening the remittances of foreign donors to these organizations. The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines' funds have been frozen. Alcadev of Chad Booc will follow next, as well as the other organizations which will soon be investigated by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
But the most important reason the Makabayan Bloc and their allies want to pass an anti-red-tagging law is the protection of Jose Maria Sison from the reach of the law and justice. As the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) is about to shift to full throttle, they are making their best effort to shield Sison by invoking nonrefoulement. The red-tagging bill seeks to stop government officials from sharing all this information about the CPP and its conduits, refuting the government narrative that these communists have blood in their hands.
Personally, I have no issue with this bill. In the first place, we don't red-tag. We simply share information we get from Joma's mouth, his revolutionary websites as well as from former red cadres. If this bill will be about evidence, then I would strongly recommend that they add a clause to it, to the effect that for every day a government official is wrongly put in jail for red-tagging, he will be indemnified with P500,000, just like the provisions in the Human Security Act of 2007. It means that when no evidence is presented to confirm that a person red-tagged is indeed red, the accuser will have to cough up the amount to pay the jailed official and the former to automatically replace him in the cold prison.