Malacañang on Tuesday asked left-leaning groups to stop denying their alleged ties to communist rebels and renounce the use of arms to destabilize government.
Palace spokesperson Harry Roque made the appeal as he justified President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against so-called “front organizations” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army such as the Makabayan bloc and Bayan.
“Let’s be honest. Itigil na iyan na nagsisinungaling pa sila na red-tagging eh Red naman talaga sila sabi ni Presidente. Totoo naman po iyan eh. Ang hinihingi lang natin, you can be a Red without necessarily endorsing the use of arms,” Roque said at a press briefing.
It has been nearly three decades since the government decriminalized membership in the CPP and similar associations through Republic Act 7636, which was signed by former President Fidel Ramos in September 1992.
“Bakit pa kasi dini-deny. Hinihingi lang natin, buwagin ninyo na iyang mga partylist ninyo, tawagin ninyo nang CPP. Pero huwag na kayong susuporta sa NPA, dahil iyong pagsuporta sa NPA makes it illegal,” Roque said.
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate said that pushing for the similar advocacies of the underground movement does not necessarily make them communist rebels.
He then accused Duterte of resorting to diversionary tactics to mask his administration's alleged incompetence in handling the country’s problems such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, Roque urged Zarate to be completely honest.
“Magpakatotoo ka, that’s all I can say,” he said.—AOL, GMA News