Robredo supports Duterte in declaring CPP, NPA as terrorist groups
Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday said she supports the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte declaring as terrorist organizations the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Sa atin po, parating ano ba iyong definition ng terorista? Iyong terorista iyong naghahasik ng lagim na wala namang dahilan. Iyong mga terorista iyong nampapatay pati ng mga sibilyan, nangingikil. Iyong sa akin po, kung iyong ginagawa ng New People’s Army ay mga terroristic activities, nararapat lamang na ideklara na terorista,” Robredo said in a radio interview in Isabela.
(For us, what is the real definition of terrorists? Terrorists are those who sow terror without any reason. These terrorists are the ones murdering civilians, and they are extortionists. For me, what the NPA is doing are terroristic activities and it is just fitting to declare them as terrorists.)
Robredo said it was reasonable for the Duterte administration to send a message that it would not tolerate any terroristic activities, whether it is committed by the Communist rebels or any ISIS-related groups.
“Iyong terorismo, whether NPA iyon o whether Abu Sayyaf or ISIS-related… iyong pagbibigay ng mensahe na iyong lahat na terroristic activities hindi welcome dito sa atin, tingin ko po mahalaga na iyong mensaheng iyon mapaabot ng ating pamahalaan,” she said.
(Terrorism, whether committed by NPA or Abu Sayyaf or ISIS-related… in sending a message that all terroristic activities are not welcome here I think that is an important message.)
Pressed to clarify her support for Duterte’s move, Robredo answered: “Lahat po ng mga moves ng ating pamahalaan para isikwal iyong kaguluhan, para isikwal iyong mga illegal activities, para isikwal iyong terroristic activities, sang-ayon po tayo.”
(All the actions of the government to quell violence, to quell the illegal activities, to quell the terroristic activities, I agree with that.)
In defining activities as terroristic, Robredo pointed out that there was no politics involved in doing so for as long as it is done to preserve national security.
“Kahit anong kulay mo sa pulitika, kailangan labanan talaga ito (terrorism), kasi ito iyong makakasama talaga—hindi lang sa security natin, pero iyong kabuuang future ng ating bansa,” she said.
(Whatever political color you are in, we need to fight terrorism because this is bad indeed—not only for our security but for the entire future of our country.)
On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the directive declaring the CPP and NPA as terrorist organizations under the Human Security Act.
Malacañang said this was because of the continued violent acts of the Communist groups, which “sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace.”
Those providing financial support to terrorist organizations, including mining firms and other businesses, will also be held liable under the law. /jpv