NTF-Elcac insists Robredo-CPP collusion despite VP’s stand vs violence
MANILA, Philippines — The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) has stood firm on its allegation of conspiracy between Vice President Leni Robredo and the communist movement even if the presidential bet has repeatedly said he would not support groups using violence.
In a briefing on Wednesday afternoon to formalize the filing of their counter-affidavit for complaints against them before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), NTF-Elcac spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy insisted on their claims that Robredo talked with the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
According to Badoy, Robredo willingly sought the endorsement of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“So ano bang point of contention ng mga KABAG na ito? Sinabi ng National Task Force na si Vice President Leni ay nakikipag-kuntsabahan sa CPP-NPA-NDF, that she willfully and knowingly sat down, and made concessions and agreements with them in order to have earned their endorsement and we stand by that,” the NTF-Elcac official said, even challenging Robredo anew to disown and condemn the communist groups to show that she is not supportive of their cause.
“And now if they have a problem with that, Madam Vice President, all you need to do is condemn the CPP-NPA-NDF, we’ve been asking you to do it almost a month now.”
“Madam Vice President, you go around saying all sorts of things but the thing that you should be saying is that you’re not saying — it’s so simple: I condemn the CPP-NPA-NDF,” she added.
For several times now, however, Robredo denied any affiliation to the CPP-NPA-NDF – stressing that she would never work with violent groups. The Vice President also said that the red-tagging that she and her supporters receive was only meant to stop her volunteers-fueled People’s Campaign.
This is not the first time that Robredo and her supporters were red-tagged. After the rally in General Trias, Cavite, where more than 40,000 people attended, a local official claimed that communist rebels were present in that event as they had supposedly infiltrated Robredo’s campaign.
This was denied by local organizers who said that such an accusation is an insult to people who only want good governance.
Then, Senator Panfilo Lacson — who is also running for president — warned Robredo about the possible “communist infiltration,” which theVice President’s camp denied.
Aside from Badoy, National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon also claimed that Robredo might be partnering with communist forces. According to Esperon, while it is correct that government officials and candidates should not align with groups using violence, Robredo’s actions purportedly contradict her words.
Esperon referred to Bayan Muna chairperson and senatorial aspirant Neri Colmenares, whom the retired military general wrongly claimed was part of Robredo’s Senate slate.
Colmenares and Makabayan have been supportive of Robredo, but they are not included in the Vice President’s 12-person slate. Instead, Colmenares is part of the 1Sambayan coalition, which also endorses Robredo for president.
Esperon also said that if Robredo would not condemn the CPP-NPA-NDF, he would think that the Vice President was just seeking the votes of people aligned with progressive groups.
“Can she condemn them? If not then I think madam Vice President I think, I would like to think that you are simply going around the bush and you simply want to get the votes of those that are aligned with these groups under the Makabayan bloc whom we have known to be members of the Communist Party of the Philippines directing the New People’s Army,” he said.
The press conference of NTF-Elcac on Wednesday was staged to respond to complaints filed by Makabayan bloc members against officials of the anti-insurgency task force before the Comelec for allegedly committing electioneering activities when they said that Robredo was working with communists.
According to the complainants, statements from the NTF-Elcac officials that appear to be political advertisement or election propaganda should be considered an election offense under the Omnibus Election Code.
Aside from Badoy, the following officials are also facing complaints before the Comelec:
- Interior Undersecretary Marlo Iringan
- Assistant Solicitor General Angelita Miranda
- Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director-General Alex Monteagudo
- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Deputy Director General Gabriel Luis Quisumbing
- Public Works Undersecretary Maximo Carvajal
- Environment Undersecretary Nonita Caguioa
- Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano
- Defense Undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu
- Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay
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