WATCH: Anti-leftist groups rally as Senate’s red-tagging hearing resumes
MANILA, Philippines — Groups opposing left-leaning organizations have staged a rally as the Senate resumed its investigation on red-tagging issues.
One former activist came out to claim that they recruited youth fighters for the communist armed movement.
During the rally outside the Senate premises on Tuesday, Joy James Saguino, who claimed to be Anakbayan’s former national vice-chairperson, attested to the recruitment they made.
“Ako dumayo ako mula Mindanao para ipresenta ‘yong sarili ko bilang buhay na patunay na wala pong red-tagging, dahil kami noon sa Anakbayan, kami mismo ‘yong nagre-recruit sa mga kabataan na sumapi sa underground organization ng Kabataang Makabayan hanggang sa sila’y magdesisyon na maging kasapi ng New People’s Army,” Saguino said.
(I traveled from Mindanao to present myself as a living witness that there is no red-tagging, because we as former Anakbayan members, we are recruiting young people to join the underground organization of Kabataang Makabayan up to when they decide to join the New People’s Army.)
“Kaya napakalaking kasinungalingan na kanilang itanggi na walang underground movement, na hindi sila linked sa Communist Party of the Philippines sapagkat kami po bilang mga dating cadre […] kami po mismo ay nago-organize ng mga legal organizations,” he added.
(That’s why it is a big lie to deny that they have no underground movement, that they are not linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines because as former cadres, we are in charge of organizing the legal organizations.)
However, Anakbayan media officer Al Omaga told INQUIRER.net that they do not know Saguino, despite the latter appearing in various publications and other progressive organizations way back in 2010 as Anakbayan’s regional spokesperson.
The hearings on red-tagging issues continued at the Senate, with the committee on national defense allowing activists criticizing military official Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. to speak at the hearing.
Former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño asserted that red-tagging has a “chilling effect” because it hinders people from participating in democratic discussions out of fear of being linked to communist movements.
But Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that if the New People’s Army (NPA) prioritizes recruiting activists as members, then Parlade’s warnings may hold ground. [ac]
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