Retired military exec echoes Lacson warning vs. 'coalition gov't'

By Priam Nepomuceno / Philippine News Agency

Partido Reporma standard-bearer Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson (File photo courtesy of Lacson-Sotto media bureau)

MANILA – A retired military officer who played a key role in the 1986 Edsa Revolution has echoed the concerns of Partido Reporma standard-bearer Senator Panfilo "Ping" M. Lacson against a "coalition government" with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).


Retired Philippine Air Force Col. Hector Tarrazona made the warning in a letter to 1Sambayan convenor and former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, after seeing "known communists, whose ultimate goal is to overthrow the government" in the coalition.


"While I was very hopeful to see the coalition of different political groups, I was greatly disappointed to see known communists, whose ultimate goal is to overthrow the government, in the coalition," he said in his letter to Carpio dated March 19 and made public on Friday, referring to a Zoom webinar of the coalition which he attended.


Tarrazona, who persuaded the PAF's 15th Strike Wing to support the 1986 Edsa Revolution, said there is no place for communists in the coalition.


Tarrazona, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1968, refuted the claim of ex-Senator Antonio Trillanes IV that he saw no communist in the campaign team of Vice President Leni Robredo. Trillanes is part of Robredo's senatorial slate.


In his letter, Tarrazona said the insurgency, which has gone on for at least 51 years, has killed up to 60,000 soldiers, insurgents and civilians.


"You may have pleased a few thousand communists but you will be losing the support of millions among the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP (Philippine National Police) personnel and their families, businessmen, farmers, and other Filipinos who have been victims of their terrorism, atrocities, and revolutionary taxation. I hope you would correct this big political blunder," he told Carpio.


Lacson earlier voiced concern that operatives of the CPP, New People's Army, and National Democratic Front may have infiltrated Robredo's campaign, citing information from ex-NPA cadre Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz that jibed with the information from his intelligence sources.


Also on Friday, Lacson scored the propaganda by some groups that claimed activists were arrested in Cavite after he warned of the possible infiltration by the CPP and its legal fronts of the campaign of Vice President Ma. Leonor "Leni" Robredo.


Lacson said a fact-check showed the arrests were related to an operation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) against illegal drugs in the province.


"May naaresto pero drug operation ito sa Bacoor. Ang nag-operate, PDEA, anti-illegal drugs operation (The arrests in Bacoor stemmed from an anti-illegal drug operation)," he said in an interview with Radyo 5.


He noted the groups that issued "alerts" and tried to make it appear that they were arrested because he had "red-tagged" them for attending Robredo's campaign rally in Cavite earlier this month.


"Ganyan ang kanilang ginagawang propaganda. Kaya huwag maligaw ang mag-attend na volunteer (That is the propaganda they are trying to spread. I hope the public and campaign volunteers will not believe them so easily)," he said.


Lacson reiterated he has never engaged in red-tagging, and that he merely warned those concerned about entering into a possible coalition government with the CPP, New People's Army and National Democratic Front - with the NPA insurgency having been behind more than 2,000 deaths, the loss of billions of pesos in revolutionary taxes and the destruction of properties of those who refused to "cooperate" with them.


Also, he maintained he has his own intelligence sources who validated the information that members of CPP legal fronts were at Robredo's rally.


He added it is natural for the CPP and its legal fronts to discredit ex-NPA cadre Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz.


"Ang armed struggle hindi ma-justify no matter how you look at it (But an armed struggle can never be justified no matter how you look at it)," he stressed. (with Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)

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