Party-list solon urges Velasco to ignore bid for communist witch-hunt in the House

Published December 7, 2020, 10:46 PM

by Ben Rosario

A party-list solon on Monday called on Speaker Lord Allan Velasco to remain judicious and ignore pressures of joining the communist witch-hunt by launching a House of Representatives probe into the red-tagging issue.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco
(Lord Allan Velasco’s Office / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite aired the appeal as he lashed at former National Youth Commission Chairman Ronald Cardema for “trying to ride on the issue and magnet attention to himself” because his wife,  Duterte Youth Partylist Rep. Ducielle Marie Cardema  has allegedly been underperforming as youth representative in the Lower House.

“Since they acquired their seat they have filed nothing else but three resolutions that all seek to red-tag activist organizations, but they are mum on important issues that the youth, the sector they are supposedly representing, are confronting such as problems hounding distance learning, the effects of typhoons on thousands of students and of course, the pandemic,” said Gaite in a press statement.

Cardema, who was disqualified by the Commission on Elections to represent the youth, had threatened to file a case against members of the Makabayan bloc before the House Committee on Ethics if Velasco will not initiate a probe into the alleged links of the leftist lawmakers to the communist underground.

Chaired by Nueva Ecija Rep. Ria Vergara, the ethics panel takes charge of issues relating to the duties, conduct, rights, privileges and immunities of congressmen.  It also covers  matters relating to the dignity, integrity and reputation of the chamber and its members.

“Clearly there is pressure on the House to join the communist witch hunt of the NTF-ELCAC, but we believe Speaker Velasco will remain judicious and will not allow the House to be used as venue for peddling baseless accusations against its members,” Gaite said.

He accused Cardema of using his wife’s position to pursue the communist witch hunt in the Lower House and bolster the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s red-tagging activities.

“The red-tagging NTF-ELCAC failed to present any credible witness or evidence during the Senate hearing and they have been exposed as nothing but a bunch of slandering liars and con artists,” said Gaite. President Duterte himself said that Gaite’s group and those of his colleagues are not being red-tagged, but are being identified by the government as front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which they denied.