Spy chief defends Facebook posts as ‘artistic’ | Inquirer News
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Spy chief defends Facebook posts as ‘artistic’

/ 04:45 AM October 05, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Far from being a purveyor of fake news on Facebook, the government’s top intelligence chief on Sunday said the posts in his social media account were “artistic expressions” and “inspiring, entertaining or informative.”

“The reason why I share posts in my FB [Facebook] personal account is no different from all FB account holders. It is because I find the post inspiring, entertaining or informative,” said Paul Alex Monteagudo, chief of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).

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He did not provide details to substantiate his claims in his statement, but he lashed back at party-list lawmakers belonging to the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives for calling their members communists and accusing them of blocking the budget of agencies involved in seeking an end to the 51-year-old communist insurgency.

The bloc is led by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.

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Monteagudo said his Facebook posts were “artistic expressions of our people similar to the sentiments of former rebels, indigenous people, victims and parents who have finally gained the courage to stand up and reveal the truth about members of the Communist Party of the Philippines who are now in Congress.”

Deferred deliberations

During House deliberations on the Nica’s proposed P850.8-million budget last Tuesday, lawmakers, particularly Makabayan members, grilled Monteagudo over his allegedly misleading Facebook posts, saying their sources and veracity were dubious.

The House deferred the deliberations on the budget of Nica, as well as that of the National Security Council (NSC), headed by Hermogenes Esperon Jr., former chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, after they failed to provide the national peace framework being sought by the Makabayan lawmakers.

Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas had earlier quizzed Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, who is defending the agencies’ budget, about the national peace framework provided under Executive Order No. 70. She said the Makabayan bloc had asked the agencies for the national peace framework in 2019, but they had yet to receive a copy.

“The Makabayan bloc representatives are members of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)/New People’s Army (NPA) which has been declared as a terrorist group by the Philippine government and included in the list of terrorist organizations by five other countries, including the United States and the European Union,” the intelligence chief said.

Court proceedings

The proscription of the CPP-NPA as a terror group remains pending in a Manila court. But according to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former Philippine National Police chief, the proceedings would have to be moved to a division of the Court of Appeals under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which he sponsored.

Monteagudo accused the Makabayan bloc of blocking the budget of his agency, the Presidential Communications Operations Office, and the NSC to undermine efforts of the national task force to end the local communist armed conflict.

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“We will not be intimidated by Congressman Zarate and the rest of the Makabayan bloc representatives from exposing their true color as proxies of the communist terrorist group,” he stressed.

“We have been exploited by this group (CPP-NPA) for over 51 years. Enough is enough. Let’s end this. Let us not allow them to deceive and murder our people for another 50 years and this is the reason why I am sharing to our people the truth about the communist terrorist groups,” Monteagudo urged, adding, “If telling the truth is now a crime. Then I will gladly go to jail.”

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TAGS: Alex Paul Monteagudo, fake news, NICA chief Facebook posts
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