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NICA chief defends Facebook posts questioned by Zarate

National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) director general Alex Monteagudo on Sunday defended his Facebook posts, which Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate had questioned during the House plenary deliberations of the agency's 2021 budget.

In a statement, Monteagudo categorically denied accusations that posts on his Facebook account are "fake," implying that he is a "purveyor of false information."

During the plenary deliberations of NICA's proposed budget for 2021, Zarate mentioned that Monteagudo reposted some questionable posts from several Facebook accounts.

One of the posts allegedly stated that congressmen use public funds to finance terrorists, which Zarate denied.

Monteagudo, in response, said he shared the posts on his Facebook account because he finds them "inspiring," "entertaining," or "informative."

He added that he shared these posts as they are similar to the sentiments of people "who have gained the courage to stand up and reveal the truth about members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) who are now in Congress," pertaining to the Makabayan Bloc to which Zarate belongs.

"I am sharing posts in behalf of the many Indigenous Peoples (IPs) that the communist terrorists have exploited and murdered," Monteagudo said.

"More importantly, I am sharing their posts which calls for the protection of family and our children from exploitation and abuse of this communist terrorist group by revealing their network in Congress, which is the Makabayan Bloc, that has grieved the hearts of many parents who lost their children because they were recruited as NPAs and later left to die in a place away from the comfort of their homes and the love of their family," he added.

Similar accusations against the Makabayan Bloc have forced the lawmakers to call for the deferment of the budget deliberations for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), after its Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy posted "red-tagging" remarks against them.

Members of the House minority bloc led by Manila Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr. also called for the removal of Badoy from her post due to her "terrorist-tagging" remarks against members of the Makabayan Bloc.

But Monteagudo said they will not be "intimidated" by the Makabayan Bloc "from exposing their true color as proxies of the communist terrorist group."

"If telling the truth is now a crime, then I will gladly go to jail!" he said.

GMA News Online has reached out to Zarate's office for his comment on Monteagudo's statements. — BM, GMA News