The National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Tuesday stressed that the red-tagging by government of the Makabayan bloc as having links to the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) is for the protection of young Filipinos.
Appearing before the Senate national defense and security committee chaired by Senator Panfilo M. Lacson on the issue of ‘Red-tagging,’’ NICA Director General Alex Paul Monteagudo cited as example 22-year-old Jevilyn Cullamat, daughter of party list Representative Eufemia Cullamat and 21-year-old Rochelle Mae Bacalso.
Cullamat and Bacalso who belonged to the NPA, the armed component of the CPP, were killed during a separate military encounter.
Monteagudo said the two and other young Filipinos were recruited into joining the NPA. Cullamat served as medical aide.
This is the reason why the military is revealing these in order to convince young Filipinos to desist from joining communist insurgents who would poison their minds and destroy their future.
The military denied in today’s hearing allegations of Congresswoman Cullamat that they made her daughter a kind of trophy of the soldiers who killed her during a firefight in eastern Mindanao and even desecrated her.
‘’We don’t do that,’’ General Hermogenes Esperon Jr., National Security Council (NSC) head, told Lacson.
Former Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casino maintained that his group has not convinced or recruited young Filipinos to join the NPA and bear arms to fight the government.’
Casino emphasized that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) cannot prove this.
He stressed that his group teach democratic values and respect for human rights and that many of his organization are with the government and some are with the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Casino said he is wondering why the heat is on his group since they are not bearing arms.
He dared Monteagudo and other officials of the government to name the recruiters for the NPA.
Even Lacson asked those in government to give the names of those supposedly recruited by Casino to join the NPA.
Esperon said Casino is not being accused of recruiting for the NPA but it is his organization that is doing the recruitment. .
Casino warned that this is a sweeping statement and that thousands of their members had been red-tagged and this places their lives in jeopardy.