Four self-confessed former top communist rebels on Monday claimed Makabayan Bloc or “KABAG” (Kabataan, Anakbayan, Bayan Muna, ACT, Gabriela) lawmakers “are also officials of the CPP-NPA-NDF”.
At the weekly virtual press briefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday, former CPP official Jeffrey Celis alias “Ka Eric” vouched that partylist lawmakers Neri Colmenares, Satur Ocampo, Liza Masa and Teddy Casiño of the Makabayan Bloc are real operatives of the CPP-NPA-NDF, explaining “they all have personal knowledge and frequently met with the KABAG lawmakers during the Regional Committee meetings of the CPP-NPA-NDF.”
“We can look at them directly into to their eyes,” Celiz said, referring to the left-leaning lawmakers, whom, he added, “(they) can point as CPP-NPA-NDF officials too.”
“Kapag may mga kampanya na (national elections), hindi po totoo na ang mga nag-uusap diyan ay mga simpleng members ng mga partylist na ito. Ang mga nakikipag-usap sa kanila ay may basbas ng Regional Party Committee ng CPP,” the self-confessed former member of undergroud youth group Kabataan Makabayan said.
Celia also said that there are three levels in the CPP-NPA-NDF meetings. “Kapag nagmeeting na may tinatawag kaming L1, L2 at L3 meetings. Kapag L1, Level 1… open meeting iyon, may mga masa. Kapag L2 o Level 2, underground meeting iyon. Kapag Level 3, (CPP) party meeting iyon,” Celiz explained while admitting he met the Makabayan Bloc lawmakers during those meetings.
Celiz further added that the Partylist representations are very important to the local communist underground movement as “they will work hand in hand with the armed struggle of the communist movement in the mountains and even urban operations.” He said that the scheme is called “Urban Operations and Bureaucratic Infiltration” or “white area.”
Alma Gabin, who claimed she is the former Education Deputy Secretary of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee of the CPP-NPA and a founding member of the Kabataan Partylist said, her stint at the CPP-NPA-NDF even made her as a nominee of the leftist youth group in 2010, rubbing elbows with top officials like trade union leader Dennis Velasco and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago.
Gabin recounted that the same person who recruited her in her college days is the same person who took her to an oath-taking not as a Kabataan Party member but as a CPP-NPA-NDF member. “This is not red-tagging”, the former rebel insisted, “KABAG is directed to the mission of the CPP-NPA-NDF” which is to topple the government.
While Ariane Jane Ramos, who just recently reportedly surrendered as a former Secretary of Guerilla Front 55, Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), and former Chairperson of Gabriela Youth of University of the Philippines in Mindanao claimed that she has a short-lived ‘urban operations’ experience, as she went and join the armed struggle as NPA regular.
Ramos named her mentors as Rendell Ryan Edpan Cagula and Eric Jun Casilao, currently the secretary of the SMRC and the brother of former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Baring Casilao.
Urban operations, Ramos said, are their way to spread propaganda and formed the Partylist as legal fronts while recruiting more militant students.
“In both ways, the urban and armed struggles,” Ramos said, “is inter-connected” all to pursue toppling the government and establish a communist state.
Joy Saguino alias “Ka Amihan”, alledged former Secretary of Guerilla Front 20, Sub-Regional Committee 1, SMRC and a former youth and student organizer of Anakbayan and Kabataan Partylists also claimed, the Makabayan Bloc or the legislative counterparts of the CPP-NPA-NDF are there to coverup their urban and rural operations, such as the communist-linked schools–Salugpungan, Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) and others.
She added that Makabayan lawmakers have also been “exploiting their positions to get funding and support from international organizations.”
Meanwhile, Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, NTF-ELCAC Spokesperson on New Media and Sectoral Concerns criticized the pronouncements of Rappler and Vera Files as the task force, she said, “is bent on taking legal action against them for all the patent disinformation it spreads that has brought and continues to bring great harm on our people and the Republic.”
“We will also take legal action against Facebook and hold them accountable for allowing their fact-checkers, Rappler and Vera Files, to use the immense powers of this designation to operate with shameless impunity the spread of false information that is inimical to national security and to use their platform to harm the sovereignty of our nation, malign the government of the Republic of the Philippines and shake to its very core, the foundations of our Constitution,” Badoy said.
On the other hand, Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, NTF-ELCAC Spokesperson for mass media engagements and fact-checker said, “I will gladly join anyone or any group that will challenge this moneyed social media mogul before our courts for several possible violations. We can live without Facebook… but Facebook, a multibillion-dollar business, cannot live without us.”