CALOOCAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Gilbert I. Gapay is pleased with the result of Senate Hearing on the issue of Red-Tagging held on Tuesday, Nov. 24 and said the Communist Party of the Philippines can no longer deceive the public and cover up their "malicious intent."
"It is now clear how the CPP-NPA-NDF conspire to continue their unlawful acts and terrorist ways as exposed by the resource persons today. The organization's exploitation of issues and idealism affecting the vulnerable sectors has to stop now," said Gapay who virtually attended the hearing.
The AFP chief said the public hearing was a great avenue for the military as most of the AFP's efforts focus on the preventive side.
"We are satisfied with how things turned out for us during these hearings. These sessions have allowed the truth to unfold. And for the AFP, one of the best ways to counter terrorism is to stop lies from propagating," Gapay said.
By virtue of Senate Resolution No. 559 the defense sector was directed by the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation to shed light on the issue of "red-tagging" and "red-baiting."
AFP representatives physically present in the public hearing were The Deputy Chief of Staff AFP Vice Admiral Erick Kagaoan representing the CSAFP, AFP Spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo, Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations, J7 Major General Benedict Arevalo, CRSAFP Commander Major General Ernesto C Torres, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, J3 Major General Edgardo Y De Leon. Senator Panfilo Lacson who initiated the hearing also led the inquiry of resource persons.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the CPP-NPA-NDF wanted to trick the public into believing that they are a good organization.
"It has succeeded in no small measure in concealing its conspiracy and has its cadres or personalities supporting it masquerading to be patriots, freedom fighters, human right advocates, and so on," he stated.
The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), for its part, presented former rebels and previous members of the CPP-NPA-NDF who testified on the CPP-NPA-NDF's misleading process of recruitment and mobilization.
Ka Amihan, whose real name is Joy James Saguino, was recruited in UP Visayas, Iloilo initially as a member of League of Filipino students.
The former rebel also served as secretary of Guerilla Front 20 under Sub-regional Committee 1 of Southern Mindanao Region.
"There is no red-tagging. Mr. Jeffrey Celiz (Ka Eric) was right about the connection of the so-called legal democratic organization and the CPP," Ka Amihan testified before the Senate.
Rey Christian Sabado, another former student recruit, backed Saguino's statement.
Sabado was a student leader at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines before joining the CPP-NPA-NDF in 2015 following several orientation and recruitment attempts.
According to him, the CPP-NPA-NDF through Kabataan Partylist and other fronts tried to work on his release after he was arrested by government forces in Las Navas, Northern Samar in 2019 while carrying illegal firearms.
"Huwag na po nating hayaan na yung susunod na maging biktima nitong mga nagkukunwaring progresibong organisasyon ay sila pa po mismo yung sisira sa pangarap ng ating mga anak," Sabado said to warn the youth against CPP-NPA-NDF's modus of targeting the sector.
The military during focused military operations has encountered individuals that are affiliated with front organizations of the CPP-NPA-NDF. Ivy Lyn Corpin aka Red/Elis claimed that she joined the organization in 2016 and worked to campaign for Vilma Valencia who was a Gabriela organizer before joining the CPP-NPA-NDF. She has name-dropped other members of legal organizations who are also part of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Gapay hence reiterated the military's duty to protect the people from the deceitful and violent ways of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
"CPP-NPA-NDF's orchestrated attempts at public deception have been unmasked. As we continue to battle against these terrorists during armed conflicts, it is just as vital for us to prevent individuals, especially vulnerable sectors from being misled by the CPP-NPA-NDF's trickery," Gapay added. (PIA NCR)