DND exec backs memo vs gov’t workers union
The head of the government’s rebel returnee program backed on Thursday the controversial memorandum from the home affairs office claiming, without proof, that a leftist but duly accredited union federation was infiltrated by communist rebels.
Department of Defense Undersecretary and Task Force “Balik-Loob” chair Reynaldo Mapagu maintained in a statement on Thursday that the memorandum issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) was only meant “to ensure that our public servants are not exploited or used to undermine the government and the stability of the republic.”
According to Mapagu, “The E-CLIP and Amnesty Program Cluster of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict stand behind the move by the DILG to discourage its employees from joining organizations suspected to be affiliated with the communist terrorist group.”
E-CLIP, or the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, helps surrendered communist rebels reintegrate in their communities by providing them livelihood, housing,and education assistance, among others.
Mapagu said, “The [DILG’s] move should not be construed as infringement on the rights of employees to join associations. Rather, it is a reminder for civil servants, by the virtue of the positions they hold, to remain loyal to the republic and the Filipino people.”
“The government, for its part, shall ensure that the constitutional rights of every Filipino are protected, regardless of one’s political affiliation,” he assured.
“As we continue the hard work of dismantling the discord sown by the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army) in various sectors of our society, we are hoping for the public’s continued support in unmasking the duplicity of the communist terrorist group,” he concluded.
On Monday, the DILG affirmed the authenticity of the memorandum, issued on March 10 by Assistant Secretary Alexander Macario, but there was no sinister motive in wanting to identify members of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) among the agency’s workers.
Despite its leftist leanings, Courage has been a legally recognized federation of about 200 labor unions since 1986.
DILG officer in charge Bernardo Florece Jr. had claimed, without proof, that the memorandum was based on a National Intelligence Coordinating Agency report that the Makabayang Kawaning Pilipino (MKP) has infiltrated Courage.
MKP has declared itself to be an underground mass organization advocating armed struggle under the direct control of the CPP-NPA.
Florece had pointed out: “It is but the legal and moral obligation of this department to investigate if there are employees within our ranks seeking shelter in the very system they wish to destroy. It is our sworn obligation to determine if the organization has been infiltrated and if our employees are being recruited and exploited.”
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