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'Red-tagging' is CPP-NPA's creative, defensive tactic: Esperon

By Priam Nepomuceno / Philippine News Agency

NTF ELCAC vice chair Hermogenes Esperon Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Red-tagging claims have always been the tactic of communist terrorist groups and their allies to cover up the truth on their acts and atrocities, a ranking official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) said on Monday.

"There is a pattern here. A pattern that will open our eyes to the truth about the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front) and their front organizations. Every time the NTF-ELCAC exposes to the people the links between or among a person, organization, entity, group, and or a political party to the CPP-NPA-NDF; these CPP-NPA-NDF associated or linked person/s or group/s would say, THE NTF-ELCAC RED-TAGGED US!," NTF-ELCAC vice chair Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said in statement posted at the task force's Facebook page, debunking “red-tagging" claims made against the body.

He added that those still unaware of the truth will probably ride along with the operational definition given by the CPP-NPA-NDF to "red-tagging", which Esperon described as a "creatively invented term" by these groups.

"Those who know the truth, would say, there is no such thing as 'red-tagging'. If we ask, who really knows the truth about the CPP-NPA-NDF? Who can speak about the CPP-NPA-NDF? Who knows of the identities of the personalities within the CPP-NPA-NDF organization? Who knows of the organizations and groups linked to or affiliated with the CPP-NPA-NDF?" said Esperon, who is also National Security Adviser.

He added that once these questions are answered clearly, Filipinos will know that those who have claimed that they are been "red-tagged" are actually trying to deny the "truth that they have been unmasked, exposed, and categorically identified as members of the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist organization and/or a member of a group or organization affiliated with or linked to the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist organization."

Esperon also clarified that the NTF-ELCAC does not, did not, and will not speak about the things that they are uncertain of.

"The NTF-ELCAC stands for the truth. We merely bring the message of truth to the Filipino people. When we say that the CPP-NPA-NDF committed atrocities against the Filipino people, we can support these allegations. When we say that the CPP-NPA-NDF has front organizations masquerading in different forms and modes, we can sufficiently support these claims," he added.

Esperon said when NTF-ELCAC, through the whole-of-nation approach anchored on good governance, claims that they have liberated former conflict-stricken areas from the CPP-NPA-NDF influence and control, the body has facts to show or prove this.

"When we unmask CPP-NPA-NDF members, leaders, supporters, collaborators, operatives, front organization members and leaders, we have the first hand accounts of individuals who know of the facts and the truth. This is because, they have come from within the ranks of the CPP-NPA-NDF," he added.

Esperon said former members and allies of the CPP-NPA-NDF have seen the movement for what it truly is and they have willingly returned to the folds of the government and of the Filipino people because they have been the worst in the communist terrorists.

"And they vowed never to let the CPP-NPA-NDF exploit, take advantage of, deceive, and destroy families and communities. The NTF-ELCAC speaks the truth as revealed by former CPP-NPA-NDF cadres and members. The NTF-ELCAC speaks for those who were victimized by the CPP-NPA-NDF. We speak for the communities and the families who were exploited and oppressed by the reign of terror of the CPP-NPA-NDF. The NTF-ELCAC has made a promise, Never again shall the Filipino people allow the CPP-NPA-NDF to sow terror in the countryside," he added.

By speaking the truth, Esperon said the CPP-NPA-NDF has come face to face with a formidable foe, that is, the entire government bureaucracy, joined by the people, in a common goal to end the local communist armed conflict.

"The NTF-ELCAC has done one thing that has not yet been done in the past, and this is to challenge the CPP-NPA-NDF front organizations and political groups in Congress which has remained unchallenged for the past many decades despite its glaring manifestations that it is affiliated to the CPP-NPA-NDF. The hard facts indicate that per first hand accounts of former CPP-NPA-NDF cadres, the MAKABAYAN BLOC which is also known by its acronym 'KABAG' (referring to KABATAAN, ACT, BAYAN MUNA, ANAKPAWIS, GABRIELA) are directly linked to and are associated with the CPP-NPA-NDF. This is the bitter pill of truth that some politicians and some of our kababayans refuse to swallow. This is the truth that the NTF-ELCAC has been exposing all along, that the CPP-NPA-NDF exists in our midst through their front organizations and that the CPP-NPA-NDF has infiltrated almost all sectors of our society," he added.

This bitter truth, he said, proves that the CPP-NPA-NDF has been hiding in plain sight for the past many years.

"And it is only now, that we, the Filipino people, are unmasking the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist organization. It is only now that the CPP-NPA-NDF's existence, including those of their front organizations, has been challenged to the core," he added.

Esperon said the task force is now at the point of the country's history where it is exposing, completely and comprehensively, the inner workings and the internal structures of the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist organization, including their manipulation of and exploitation of the political and governmental structures to further their so-called "revolutionary struggle".

Esperon said that in reality, this is nothing more than a sugar-coated term that actually refers to that obsession on the part of the CPP-NPA-NDF to take over the government.

"We are unmasking the CPP-NPA-NDF. The deception is over. It is about time that the Filipino people know the truth. Our people deserve the Truth and not the sugar-coated propaganda of politicians who sell their souls to the enemy by forming alliances with the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist organization and their front groups. The NTF-ELCAC is committed to winning the peace by putting an end to the local communist armed conflict. In the end, truth prevails," he added.

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 Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)



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