A women’s group on Wednesday, April 28, assailed the alleged surrender of a supposed national people’s army (NPA) commander who claimed to be a former Gabriela spokesperson in Cotabato.
According to the Makilala Municipal Police Station, Lilia Cagulada Gecana alias “Commander Ligaya” is a high-ranking leader of the NPA Guerilla Front 72 and a designated chairperson of Gabriela Malabuan cluster.
In a statement, Gabriela disputed the authorities’ claim, asserting that “no one in Gabriela-Mindanao knows Gecena” and she “has never been a member nor a spokesperson in Cotabato or anywhere in the country.”
“This is nothing more than a shameful and ridiculous attempt again by the regime to link Gabriela to armed rebel groups, something that the Duterte regime has attempted for so long but has only shown absurd claims and zero hard evidence,” the statement read.
The group likewise decried the red-tagging of former Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Atty. Neri Colmenares as well as progressive groups Bayan Muna and Gabriela during the oral arguments on the anti-terrorism law on Tuesday, April 27.
“We cannot allow outright disinformation and terrorist-tagging by state forces to be the norm,” it added.
Instead of spending the national government’s resources and budget on the National Task Force to End Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Gabriela urged President Duterte to provide P10,000 economic aid for Filipino families “for as long as pandemic lasts,” P15,000 production subsidy for farmers, and P100 emergency wage allowance for workers.