Palace tells left-leaning groups: ‘Work within the law’
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday reminded groups, which President Rodrigo Duterte tagged as fronts of communist rebels, to always “work within the law.”
In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo reminded those groups they could be charged for allowing their organizations to be used by “armed elements.”
“They should always work within the law. Kasi kung ginagamit nilang fronts iyon ng armed elements ng NPA (New People’s Army), may problema tayo. They will be violating the law and they can be charged for it,” Panelo said.
“The fact alone that the President has made that statement, that’s already a warning to them,” he added.
On Monday, Mr. Duterte accused left-leaning organizations Bayan Muna, Kilusang Mayo Uno, and Gabriela Women’s Party as being fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). NPA is the armed component of the CPP.
Duterte made the allegation as he expressed support to the arrest of former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, and 16 others for kidnapping and trafficking charges.
“Ocampo is fronting Bayan (Muna), Bayan is a front of the Communist Party of the Philippines bakit pa tayo magdrama,” Duterte told reporters in an interview.
“Alam natin na KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno), ‘yan Gabriela they are all communists fronts or being used by the communists alam niyo lahat ‘yan,” he added.
Ocampo and company were arrested at a checkpoint in Talaingod, Davao del Norte last November 28 for allegedly holding and transporting students of Salugpungan Learning Center, a school for Lumads, without the consent of their parents.
They were released days later after posting bail. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.