Lacson warns Robredo of 'communist infiltration' in campaign; VP spokesman cries foul | Inquirer News
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Lacson warns Robredo of ‘communist infiltration’ in campaign; VP spokesman cries foul

Lacson warns Robredo of 'communist infiltration' in campaign; VP spokesman cry foul

FILE PHOTO: Senator Panfilo Lacson (left) and Vice President Leni Robredo (right). INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidate Panfilo Lacson is cautioning fellow contender, Vice President Leni Robredo, about a possible “communist infiltration” in her campaign and urged her team “to take appropriate action” against it.

Lacson on Thursday referred to the alleged presence of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) legal fronts during the grand rally of Robredo and running mate, vice presidential candidate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan in Cavite, where organizers said 47,000 people attended.

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But Robredo’s spokesperson, Atty. Barry Gutierrez, said in a statement that the “blatant’ and persistent” red-tagging is a new low, adding that rival candidates might only be using fear-mongering to dampen the energy of the Vice President’s people’s campaign.

“Over the course of this campaign, we have seen more than our fair share of attacks and fake news against VP Leni.  But this blatant and persistent red-tagging, masked as ‘concern’ is a new low,” Gutierrez said.

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“For the record, there is no ‘coalition government’ being contemplated and to leap to the absurd conclusion that there is, based on self-serving reports, supposedly ‘validated’ by someone desperate for a seat in the party-list elections, is the height of irresponsibility. As is using fear-mongering in a cynical effort to dampen the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment of the people’s campaign that has emerged to provide massive support to VP Leni’s candidacy for president,” he added.

Lacson said in a statement that the information he got from intelligence sources aligned with the claims made by Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz, who claims to be a former cadre of the CPP’s armed wing New People’s Army.

Celiz alleged that members of the CPP and its supposed legal fronts were at Robredo’s campaign rally in General Trias, Cavite on March 4.

The NPA, however, has disowned Celiz in the past.

READ: NPA disowns military ‘whistleblower’ Jeffrey Celiz

“If those in the campaign were not aware of this, they should consider themselves warned and take appropriate action. If they are a willing partner, they should consider the consequences of their actions – we simply cannot afford to have a coalition government with a movement whose sole objective is to seize power,” Lacson said.

In a tweet late Wednesday, the senator said: “Now, this is really worrisome…Bad if their campaign is infiltrated. Worse if they are a willing partner. I’m more concerned about those who voluntarily joined their rallies but were not aware.”

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He then reiterated his warning of a possible “coalition government” with the CPP, NPA, and National Democratic Front (NDF). But in a press conference in Parañaque City, Lacson said he is not sure whether Robredo is aware of this or not.

Lacson’s latest statement comes after he drew flak for red-tagging participants at Robredo’s Cavite rally. The senator denied having red-tagged anybody.

READ: Amid flak over Cavite rally tweet, Lacson says he ‘never red-tagged anybody’

The tweet was in reaction to a news report citing Cavite 7th District Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, who was the first to allege that participants of a rally in Cavite were either paid to join or were trained by the NDF.

READ: Cavite solon: Campaign rally participants paid P500 each

Remulla, older brother of Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, did not mention any rally in particular but said that participants were wearing pink — Robredo’s campaign color.

READ: Robredo supporters not paid to attend campaign rallies, says VP spox

The Robredo People’s Council (RPC) in Cavite has denounced Remulla’s claims as “malicious and baseless.”

KGA

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TAGS: #2022candidates, 2022 national elections, Barry Gutierrez, Cavite, communist infiltration, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), CPP, Leni Robredo, New People's Army, Office of the Vice President, OVP, Philippine news updates, red-tagging, Rep. Boying Remulla, Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson
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