Bato defends officials accused of red-tagging: About time to call a spade a spade
MANILA, Philippines—Former police chief and now Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Tuesday came to the defense of some military, police, and government officials accused of red-tagging, saying they just want to protect the people from communist rebels.
During the hearing of the Senate committee on defense, Dela Rosa noted the “red-tagging” allegation being thrown against Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency director general Alex Paul Monteagudo, and other military men.
“I believe that one of their goals is to protect our countrymen from being recruited by the terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front),” the senator said.
“This communist terrorist group continues to spread terror even during the time of pandemic. As such, they aim to do their best to prevent any form of recruitment (by) the communist terrorist group from occurring. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.”
“Mr. chairman, it’s about time we call a spade a spade. Tama na ang 50 taong panloloko, at panlilinlang na ginagawa nitong teroristang grupong CPP-NPA-NDF sa ating mga kababayan. Sila ang hadlang sa pag-unlad ng ating bansa, lalong lalo na sa kanayunan. This has to stop, Mr. chairman,” he added.
And for CPP-NPA-NDF “legal fronts,” Dela Rosa asked: “What do you call an animal that quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and swims like a duck? Is it a chicken? Hindi ‘yan manok, Mr. chairman, kung hindi it’s a duck.”
Instead of complaining that the military and police are red-tagging them, the senator also advised the “legal fronts” to complain against CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, who he said was the first to red tag them.
Dela Rosa remained hopeful though that the issues between the law enforcers and the left-leaning organizations would be resolved after the Senate inquiry.
As chairman of the Senate committee on public order, Dela Rosa also led last year’s investigation on the alleged recruitment of minor students by leftist groups.
His panel later recommended, among others, further investigation and possible filing of charges against eight people, including Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago.
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