MANILA A ranking official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Wednesday dared the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) and human rights group Karapatan to seek justice for the families of two people who were shot dead by suspected Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) terrorists in Butuan City on April 18 and 23.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Civil-Military Operations, Major Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., said now is the proper time for these progressive groups to prove themselves as "defenders of human rights and of poor victims of injustice."
The military official was referring to the April 18 killing of a former rebel belonging to the Higaunon tribe, identified as 19-year-old Reynante Cabungan Lloren, who was gunned down by communists inside his home in Sitio Causwagan, Barangay San Mateo, Butuan City. On April 23, Joel Canatoy, another Higaunon tribe member, was shot in the head by suspected NPAs wearing Army uniforms in the same locality.
Parlade said Lloren was a former member of the NPA Front Committee 4A, who along with two others surrendered in July 2018 after realizing that they were only being exploited by the CPP-NPA.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Cabungan was just waiting to be processed at the government-provided halfway house, and be integrated to the CAFGU when he was killed.
"So to the CPP-front organization NUPL and Karapatan, how can you help seek justice for Cabungan (Lloren) and his family? (and Canatoy). You profess to be the defender of human rights and of poor victims of injustice. How do you explain to your foreign donors from European Union and Viva Salud of Belgium that you cannot provide them assistance because they were killed by the NPAs who are your allies?" he added.
Parlade also challenged NUPL chair, lawyer Neri Colmenares, who is running for senator in the May 13 polls, and NUPL president, lawyer Edre Olalia to do something on the killing of the two victims.
"For those who are oppressed 'Call Me Neri', you said. So calling Atty. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna and Atty. Edre Olalia of NUPL do something. Do not wait for Cristina Palabay of Karapatan because we have already established Karapatan's link to the NPAs, and ergo, the CPP-NDF (National Democratic Front)," he added.
The NTF ELCAC official said he seriously doubts the NUPL will go to the Supreme Court (SC) and seek a writ of amparo for the two other surrenderers who are clearly terrified for their lives.
"The two other surrenderers now fear for their lives. Should you go to the SC and represent them for another writ of amparo? Of course you won't because clearly it's not part of your oath to the CPP. You are cadres of the underground mass organization 'LUMABAN' or 'Lupon ng mga Manananggal ng Bayan', hiding under the CPP front NUPL. It's not a typo, these are true blood-suckers who cannot denounce the CPP and the NPAs for their terroristic acts," he added.
Using democracy to destroy democracy
Parlade also scored Colmenares for joining the democratic process and using the same to destroy democracy.
"You are running for national office and aspire to be a senator of the land. Whose interest will you represent? Why don't you explain to the people this duplicity of yours? You join the democratic process through the party-list and then destroy democracy. You join the legislative, get elected and use your funds to destroy your country," he added. How do you reconcile your oath to this democratic state with that of the CPP Constitution's establishment of a 'proletarian dictatorship'?
Parlade also said it is not the military but the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) who red-tagged Colmenares.
"You deny being stooges of the CPP. But NDFP Panay Spokesperson Concha Araneta proudly proclaimed today, 46 years of NDFP contributions as you 'celebrate with heads high the indispensable role in advancing the Philippine revolution'. NDFP Panay is so proud for "inflicting casualties of not less than 50 enemies". Indeed, 'the NDFP have continually filled the ranks of the (CPP-NPA), as NDFP's Concha proudly proclaims. So there, Kamatayan Bloc, who red tagged you here?" he added.
The ranking military official described these acts as "classic revolutionary dual tactics", stressing that the it is time for voters to see their true colors.
Parlade also warned Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago to prepare her "answers".
"And you Honorable Elago, should be ready with your answers too. Tomorrow. You cannot hide Truth. Truth is the only way to freedom," he noted. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency