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The arrests early this week of seven CPP NPA NDF leaders that practically wiped out the leadership of the Metro Manila Regional Party Committee is a clear and beautiful victory for the Filipino people and the Philippine government that have long labored under the abuses done in the shadows by the violent extremist Communist Party of the Philippines-New People Army-National Democratic Front.

Arrested were

1. Rodrigo Esparago—Secretary, MMRPC for violation of RA 10591-the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and for violation of RA 9516- the law on Explosives;

2. Lady Ann Salem- Secretary of the Regional Youth and Student Bureau of the MMRPC for Violation of RA 10591 and RA 9516 as well.

3. Joel Demate—Deputy Secretary, MMRPC and Head, Regional Organization Dept, MMRPC for violation of RA 10591(Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act)

4. Dennise Velasco—Secretary, Kagawaran ng Rehiyon sa Edukasyon, MMRPC for violation of RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act)

5. Marc Ryan Cruz- Regional Trade Union Bureau Secretary(RTUB), MMRPC for Violation of RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act)

6. Jaymie Gregorio – District Committee PAMANA for violation of RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and

7. Romina Raiselle Lindawan Astudillo- Deputy Secretary, RTUB, MMRPC for violation of RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act).

These arrests are no small victory because this puts away hardened communist ideologues who provided the underground support network-- sanctuary, security and other logistical support-- needed by the NPA to have a clear shot at harming innocent civilians in the metropolis as they and their children went about their lives peacefully unaware of the clear and present danger before them.

These CPP NPA NDF leaders were people who walked among us and lived in gated subdivisions and condominiums and blended in but who had, in their possession, high powered firearms, ammunition, hand grenades—enough to cause grave harm and to, once again, heap grief and suffering on us.

And the deadly resolve to do so.

We at the NTF ELCAC therefore applaud the courageous Judge—Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert-- who issued warrants of arrests on those who had this capacity to bring us grievous harm—without any thought for her own safety.

And we applaud too the fearless men and women of the AFP and the PNP who successfully served those warrants of arrests and effectively put our people out of harm’s way.

This is a testament to the public servants we have who surround our people with great courage and who take quite seriously the vows they made to protect and defend the Constitution and to serve the Filipino people faithfully.

It is to them that we owe a debt of gratitude that we can never hope to repay WHEN (not IF) we end this 52 year scourge.

At the NTF ELCAC, we are fully cognizant that we stand on giants’ shoulders and that the work to ending this 52 year insurgency did not start with us but was started a long time ago by our valiant men and women in uniform as well as by each and every Filipino—our indigenous brothers and sisters among them—who fought back and paid with their very lives.

It is therefore our aim to be equal to their courage and the courage of our President who heads the task force and to those who came before us who laid the groundwork for us—so that we may finally have the peace that has long eluded us and so that we may live our lives in the embrace of a Country no longer shackled by this violent and inhumane ideology—and that our people—the poorest of the poor most of all—may finally live their best lives in the country of our birth.

Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy

Spokesperson, NTF ELCAC



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