Intel agency presents ‘DDS Newsinfo’ video clip vs Zarate
MANILA, Philippines — The government’s primary intelligence agency presented during a Senate hearing a video clip with a “DDS NEWSINFO” watermark, which showed supposed evidence linking Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate with the communist movement.
At Tuesday’s resumption of the Senate inquiry into red-tagging by military officials, the security sector was given time to present their “witnesses.”
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. introduced the presentation of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, which showed testimonies from alleged former rebels, who linked the Makabayan bloc in the “operational structure” of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“We would like to share the screen now…Our video, please start,” Esperson said.
As the video played, a clip of Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate was shown while a certain Priel Booc was speaking.
The said footage was watermarked with “DDS NEWSINFO,” a pro-administration channel on Youtube, and showed Zarate talking with someone who appears to be a soldier.
“Kasama ko siya (Zarate) noon. Kasama ko siya sa Surigao del Sur nang maganap ang malaking anibersaryo ng Communist Party of the Philippines doon. Pagpasok namin doon, hinarang kami ng Armed Forces of the Philippines at siya pa ang aming negotiating panel sa pagpasok namin doon,” Booc claimed.
(I was with him in Surigao del Sur during the big anniversary celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines. When we tried to go there, we were barred by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and he was the one who negotiated for us to enter.)
Zarate has been tagged as part of the communist movement but has since denied such allegations.
“Tahasan kong sinasabi sa Komiteng ito, Mr. Chair, na hindi ako miyembro o opisyal ng Communist Party of the Philippines o (CPP). Hindi ako rebelde o miyembro ng NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines),” Zarate said in a Senate defense committee hearing last Nov. 24.
The lawmaker earlier informed the Senate panel, through a letter, that he would be skipping Tuesday’s hearing to attend to his duties as a House member.
“As it is, instead of looking at the deadly effects of red-tagging and terrorist-tagging especially on its victims, the Senate hearings are being used by the [National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict] as a platform to further vilify us with sweeping and baseless accusations, false statements and malicious innuendos,” his letter also read.
“The Senate hearing has been reduced to a venue for witch hunting. We hope that this travesty will no longer be allowed and will be stopped,” he added.
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