Duterte backs Badoy, links Makabayan bloc to communists
By Gabriel Pabico Lalu / Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte linked party-list groups belonging to the Makabayan bloc to the communist movement again during his weekly taped “Talk to the People” briefing that aired late on Tuesday.
Right at the start of the briefing, he echoed the claim of Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), saying it was actually true.
Duterte referred to party-list groups Kabataan, Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), and Gabriela.
“I’d like to say something about the government’s effort to end the communist insurgency,” Duterte said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino. “You know, they are — it’s true. They were able to get into Congress, and no doubt about it, they have used the party list. As you know, whoever did that was bright.”
“But in particular, I’ll tell you that Lorraine Badoy is right,” he said, proceeding to name the five groups.
“You can see it in their behavior and the way they espouse their advocacy for the left. Their drift is really toward the left,” he added.
INQUIRER.net sought the side of Makabayan bloc party-list groups, but they have not issued a statement as of posting time.
“The problem is they are supporting, or they are really like legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines… I am sorry to say, I have a lot of friends there. I respect them. But they know that I know who they support through this backdoor, this alliance with the government,” Duterte said.
“Even those outside, those abroad, in the international bodies, they were able to infiltrate, and they’re espousing an advocacy that in the end what they want is to end this government,” he added.
Duterte’s statements coincided on Tuesday with the 53rd anniversary celebration of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP’.
Earlier, the Philippine National Police (PNP) vowed to continue its anti-insurgency operations, saying that proof of this commitment was the arrest of a Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) official.
However, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate — one of the lawmakers in the Makabayan bloc — said that this was part of the harassment that progressive groups would normally receive during an election season.
Aside from the Makabayan bloc, Duterte also hit party-list groups set up by rich clans and politicians for their own benefit.
“So here, all citizens, all those who want to have an influence in their whatever — business or connection — they can approach the party-list groups,” Duterte said.
“And it’s not only the left. This is being used by citizens, all the business people. They either buy the party-list or create their own because they can do it, with the money, and that has already become a problem,” he added.
Groups belonging to the Makabayan bloc, along with other progressive organizations, have been accused of either helping or financing the armed insurgency being waged by the NPA.
However, the groups have denied this, saying they were only being red-tagged.
Recently, groups have started to push back against red-tagging, filing complaints against government officials, especially those in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), like Badoy.