Plot to kill NTF-Elcac spokespersons bared
By Dempsey Reyes / The Manila Times
THE New People's Army (NPA), the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), has hatched a plot to kill the designated spokespersons of the government's anti-communist task force, a ranking official said on Monday.
Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, one of the spokespersons for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), cited an "intelligence report" on the alleged plot, which she said was called "Oplan Delta."
She said Oplan Delta emanated from the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front's (NDF) "National United Front Commission."
Badoy claimed that Nathaniel Santiago, head of the National United Front Commission of the CPP-NPA, was behind the plot.
She also accused lawyer Maria Sol Taule of "participating in the meeting," again citing an "intelligence report."
Badoy said "committees" were formed - one for each of the NTF-Elcac spokespersons - "to strategize propaganda and to create the most outrageous lies with the goal of inflicting the most damage on the spokesperson in a bid to destroy our credibility."
She said the "recent unearthing" of the so-called Oplan Delta was not a surprise.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., also the task force's vice chairman, hit the CPP-NPA-NDF for targeting the task force's spokespersons.
"Don't shoot the messenger. Kasi kung 'yung spokesperson ang inyong titirahin, mas mababa na 'yung antas ng usapan," he said.
"If they will gather information about the spokespersons and probably even the people involved in the NTF-Elcac, including me, then go ahead, but why can't they answer our statements and they will just shoot the messenger?" Esperon asked.
Badoy challenged Taule and Santiago "to deny the existence of this plan, because we have incontrovertible proof about it."
The Manila Times tried but failed to reach Taule for comment.
The task force first bared in May the supposed kill plot after some communist rebels were killed in a clash in Southern Luzon whom they said were part of the alleged plot.
Jeffrey Celis, a former CPP-NPA-NDF official known as Ka Eric Almendras, confirmed the plot to demonize the NTF-Elcac spokespersons.
Badoy said the plot will not deter them from continuing their mandate to help stop terrorist organizations.
"If you think the threats on our life will stop us from shining the glaring light of truth on each of you, you are so wrong," she said.