Ex-cadres confirm CPP-NPA supports certain candidates
By Marita Moaje / Philippine News Agency
TESTIMONIALS. NTF-ELCAC Region 6 spokesperson, Assistant Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales (top right) talks to (clockwise from left) former rebel officers Christone Monson, Rurelyn Bay-ao Mandacawan, and Joy Saguino during an online press briefing on Monday (March 21, 2022). The three confirmed that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army supports and endorses candidates during elections. (Screengrab)
MANILA – Former cadres confirmed that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) participates and intervenes during election campaigns.
Joy Saguino (alias Ka Amihan), former secretary of GS-20 Sub Regional Committee 1 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee and the former organizer of leftist youth group Anakbayan and Kabataan party-list, said they used to endorse candidates and solicit votes.
During the “Tagged” online press briefing by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday, Saguino said she experienced how involved they were in the electoral process.
She was the spokesperson of the League of Filipino Students and regional spokesperson of the Anakpawis party-list for Panay island during the 2010 polls.
“That time, I already was a full-time member of the Communist Party of the Philippines. I was deployed in the electoral work. So definitely I can categorically say na (that) the Communist Party actually exploits, intervenes in, and infiltrates the Philippine electoral system,” Saguino said.
Christone “Jong” Monson (alias Ka Franco), former political instructor, regional operations officer of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committees, and secretary general of Pasakaday Salugpungan Kalimudan in the Davao Region echoed Saguino’s revelations.
He said he experienced the CPP-NPA-NDF’s involvement during his stint with underground organization Kabataang Makabayan.
“Dadalhin ng mga kabataan tulad namin, kami ang magdadala doon sa mga community hanggang doon sa mga locality na ma-address iyong mga isyu (We will be brought to communities and we will bring the youth to localities to bring their issues),” he said.
Monson said he continued to do so until he crossed over to Pasakaday Salugpongan Kalimudan (Pasaka) where they were introduced to “bigger” politicians.
“May pag-uusap, underground na pag-uusap na kung saan ay dadalhin sa campaign at saka dadalhin din ang campaign ng mga party-list na aming mga dinadala, lalung-lalo na iyong mga senador, so may mga pag-uusap. Pagkatapos niyan, kasi nasa legal organizations naman kami ay iyon ang dadalhin namin sa aming mga members, iyon ang sabi sa amin. May mandate talaga ng Communist Party of the Philippines sa amin sa pakikipag-usap sa mga pulitiko, iyon po, lalung-lalo na sa elections (There are talks, underground talks which we will bring to the campaign, and this campaign will also be carried by the party-lists that we support, especially those running for the Senate. So there are talks. After that, since we are with legal organizations, we will bring that to our members, that’s what we were told. The CPP really mandates us to talk with the politicians, especially during elections),” Monson said.
Rurelyn Bay-ao Mandacawan (alias Ka Langlang), a former coordinator of Sabokahan to mo Lumad Kamalitanan (Sabokahan) and former student of the Indigenous People Youth Bakwit School at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines Haran and the University of the Philippines-Diliman, shared the same experience.
She likewise confirmed that the CPP-NPA-NDF has connections with several party-list groups in the House of Representatives.
"Halimbawa po sa Kongreso na mga party-list namin noon, katulad ng Gabriela, ay may koneksiyon po talaga, halimbawa sa mga eleksiyon na kung sino po iyong kailangang [iboto] namin doon, hindi lang po naming mga kabataan, sa IP sector (For example, our party-list groups in the Congress like Gabriela. They really have a connection, for example during elections on who we should vote for, including the youth sector, the indigenous peoples' sector),” she said.
The former CPP-NPA-NDF cadres called on voters to be observant and critical, especially in choosing the party-list groups that they will vote for in the May 9 elections.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The NDF has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)