THE RESTRICTION OF COMMUNIST TERRORIST GROUP AFFILIATED WEBSITES IS A WIN FOR THE NATION AGAINST LEF
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
AND DIRECTOR GENERAL
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
22 JUNE 2022
THE RESTRICTION OF COMMUNIST TERRORIST GROUP AFFILIATED WEBSITES IS A WIN FOR THE NATION AGAINST LEFTIST MISINFORMATION, NPA RECRUITMENT, AND PROPAGANDA
Upholding and promoting the truth is a national security responsibility imbued with public interest. My letter, addressed to NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, dated June 06, 2022, expressed our concern for the welfare of the Filipino people who continually use digital resources as means by which to be informed and educated. I understand that this may come as a cause for concern to many Filipinos to see websites, such as Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly, who claim that they are advocates of truth and objectivity, are part of the list of assets that I had requested for the NTC to restrict. In light of this, I would like to provide my insight for the benefit of all as to why the decision to include these websites was sought.
Misinformation remains to be one of the nation's greatest enemies; and is in fact a powerful tool used by the Communist Terrorist Group to sow enmity and
discord-dividing the Filipino people and separating us from objectivity and the truth. Though we recognize that websites like Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly have been using their platforms to spread information on causes important to them, we cannot simply turn a blind eye to the fact that they have actively supported organizations affiliated with the CPP-NPA-NDF.
To wit, I would like to quote an excerpt from Pinoy Weekly's publication, "Limang Katwiran ng Armadong Pakikibaka":
4. Lehitimong paraan o porma ng paybabagong panlipunan ang armadong pakikibaka
"Sa kasaysayan ng mga lipunan sa mundo, naging pangunahing paraan ng makabuluhang pagbabago ng lipunan ang armadong pagbabalikwas ng mga
mamamayan laban sa isang tinitingnan nilang mapang-aping sistema, uri at/o rehimen.”
Noong 1776, armado ang pag-aaklas ng mga Amerikano laban sa mga mananakop na Ingles. Noong 1789, marahas na nagreboluson ang mga Pranses laban sa kaharian ni King Louis XVI. Noong 1917, armadong rebolusyon ang nagpabagsak sa monarkiya (Tsar) sa Rusya. Sa Pilipinas, noong 1896, armado ang pag-aalsang inilusad ni Andres
Bonifacio at ng Katipunan, bago ito ipinagkanulo ni Emilio Aguinaldo at iba pa sa kamay ng mga Amerikano noong 1899.
Marami pang ibang ehemplo sa mundo. Pero ang malinaw: Isang paraan ang armadong pakikibaka para radikal na mabago ang lipunan."
This excerpt falls under Section 9, or the definitions of Terrorism, under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (R.A 11479).
Another excerpt from Pinoy Weekly's library I would like to quote and question is from, "NPA at Masa, 'di Matitinag":
'"Sa huli, inatasan naman ng CPP ang NPA na palakasin ang pagrerekrut at pagsasanay ng libu-ilbo pang pulang mandirigma mula sa hanay ng mga kabataang magsasaka, mga manggagawa, intelektuwal, kababaihan at iba pang sektor...
…’Dapat lalong itaas ny hukbong bayan ang kakayahan sa gerilyang pakikidigma, ang
pagsisikreto sa mga paraan nito ng paglalakad at pagkakampo, upang manatiling bulag at bingi ang kaaway at mapawalangsaysay ang mga bomba at makabagong kagamitan sa pagsasarbeylans at pambobomba,’ atas ng CPP.”
This excerpt likewise falls under the ATA's Section 10, or the Recruitment to and Membership in a Terrorist Organization.
To call our act of protecting the integrity of our Nation's digital space as an act of "desperation", or a "blatant attack on free speech", reeks of desperation
because they not only are unable to counter these arguments through any respectable means, but they are actively pursuing acts of terrorism within their respective organizations.
I also wish to clarify that the restriction of access to these websites does not necessarily mean a restriction for these organizations to engage in free speech. Simply put, these websites through the order of the NTC dated June 08, 2022, will not be accessible to users within the bounds of the country's Internet Service Providers. Bulatlat, Pinoy Weekly, and other websites stated in our letter to NTC are free to continue publishing articles and editorial pieces that fit their messaging lines, but they will not be accessible to internet users in
The right to free speech is protected, even under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020—and should be used responsibly and for a good cause. Hate speech,
unjust propaganda, and seeking support for CTG-affiliated organizations should be seen as separate offenses that need to be limited, especially in our
country where misinformation remains to be addressed with care and consistency.
I thank Commissioner Cordoba for his support through the NTC's orders to restrict the influence of these websites within the country's digital space. We
understand that the cost of leadership is high, especially with issues as sensitive as this. Nevertheless, the goal to protect and preserve our nation's integrity and objectivity means that we are prepared to make the difficult decisions needed to prevent further negative influence from the CPP-NPA-NDF and its affiliated organizations to spread in our cyberspace.
HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR.
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
VICE CHAIRMAN; NTF-ELCAC