PH military lists Gabriela as a ‘communist front’
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) listed Gabriela Women’s Party as a front organization for “communist terrorist groups” during a security briefing on Tuesday at the House of Representatives.
Defense and military officials were at the Batasang Pambansa to give an update on the country’s security situation and the AFP modernization program.
As part of the report on the status of communist insurgency, AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence Maj. Gen. Reuben Basiao presented a list of 18 organizations that are alleged “communist terrorist fronts,” including the Gabriela Women’s Party.
While it was included on the list, the AFP senior official made no mention of Gabriela in his statement.
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, who was not present at that time, later asked for the list to be shown again when she joined the briefing.
“What does this mean? Is this a prelude to martial law, where legal entities and legal organizations, in particular, are being targeted by the AFP?” she asked in Filipino.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they were not red-tagging Gabriela as they had based their conclusions from documents they had recovered in military operations across the country.
“It was Joma Sison himself who said during one of the videos we saw: These are the front organizations. That’s our basis. We did not make this up,” he said.
Jose Maria “Joma” Sison is the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines who has been living in exile for some 30 years in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
The confrontation at the House of Representatives happened several hours after three activists were arrested in a raid at the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan office in Tondo, Manila.
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