Casiño: When did Bayan encourage young activists to take up arms?
MANILA, Philippines — Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) spokesperson and former lawmaker Teodoro Casiño on Tuesday refuted the military’s claim that the organization urges its members to take up arms and go against the government.
During the Senate probe on alleged military’s red-tagging activities, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Director General Alex Monteagudo claimed that progressive groups influence young activists to take up arms and join the New People’s Army (NPA).
In response, Casiño challenged officials to look at the Bayan’s constitution, bylaws and public statements, adding that the organization has never urged its members to take up arms.
“Tingnan nila yung aming constitution, tingnan nila ‘yung aming bylaws, look at our public statements, our releases, join our rallies, kailan kami nag-udyok na mag-armas ang tao?” he said.
(Look at our constitution, our bylaws, our public statements, join our rallies, when have we urged our members to take up arms?)
He added that what the organization teaches is nationalism, the need to defend human rights and uphold democratic values.
“‘Yun po ang laman ng aming plataporma at programa sa Bayan. Masama ba ‘yun? Pang-uudyok ba ‘yun? Is that brainwashing?” Casiño said.
(That is what our platforms and programs are pushing for. Is that wrong? Is that brainwashing?)
He pointed out that many of the members of Bayan are actually government employees.
“Mas maraming miyembro namin ang hindi namumundok, marami doon miyembro ng gobyerno eh. Marami LFS students ay pulis ngayon,” he said.
(Many of our members are not recruited to the CPP-NPA, many of them are members of the government. Many of LFS students are police officers now.)
“So bakit ‘yung mga organisasyon namin ang inyong pinag-iinitan?” the former lawmaker said.
(Why is our organization being targeted?)
Casiño challenged military officials to name people that he allegedly recruited to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
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