PH military chief says Senate hearings confirmed activists’ link with Reds
MANILA, Philippines—Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay said three hearings at the Senate confirmed what the military has been saying all along—the Makabayan bloc of leftist members of the House of Representatives “serves as spawning pool” of communist rebels.
The Senate has been investigating cases of red-tagging and alleged communist recruitment.
“We may disagree on the way this modus was presented in the past months,” said Gapay in a statement on Tuesday (Dec. 1).
“But we can no longer deny the role that these front organizations had in the destruction wrought upon families and communities by this decades-old violence,” he said.
The third Senate hearing was conducted a few days after the death of Jevilyn Cullamat, daughter of Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, in a clash between soldiers and New People’s Army guerrillas in Surigao del Sur.
While they expressed sympathies for the death of Jevilyn, military and defense officials were one in saying it only proved that the Makabayan bloc has links with Communist Party of the Philippines.
At the hearing, the military presented accounts of former rebels, who had surrendered, on the supposed process of rebel recruitment that involved activist groups like Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan and Anakpawis.
Gapay said he expects “more information to surface as more activists-turned-NPA fighters end up dead as a result of our military operations.”
“Their blood is in the hands of these front organizations and their enablers in the party-list groups in the House of Representatives,” Gapay said.
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