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Makabayan solons dared

NATIONAL Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy on Wednesday renewed her challenge for members of the so-called Makabayan Bloc in Congress to first unequivocably denounce the atrocities committed by the New People’s Army (NPA) before she tenders her resignation.

Badoy made the statement on the eve of the scheduled plenary hearing on the proposed 2021 budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) that has been marked by undue delays, owing to the minority group’s persistent calls for the resignation of Badoy over her shared posts and statements as an NTF-ELCAC official on the supposed links of Makabayan Bloc to the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

The CPP-NPA-NDF has been declared as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States and Europe, among others.

“I will bring with me an unsigned resignation letter addressed to the president (Rodrigo Duterte). I will sign it in front of everybody as soon as I heard them publicly denounce the atrocities committed by their armed comrades against our youth and their parents who lives were shattered by their relentless brainwashing and recruitment, the attacks against civilians and killings of indigenous peoples’ leaders and the economic sabotage caused by the NPA’s burning of construction equipment in areas that badly needed infrastructure. Do that and I’ll gladly hand over to them copies of my resignation,” said Badoy.

Badoy likewise shrugged off allegations that she and other government officials such as National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Director General Alex Paul Monteagudo have been “red-tagging” people belong to self-proclaimed “progressive” groups such as the Makabayan bloc.

“First, red-tagging is a product of their own imagination. It did not come from us or any government anywhere else in the world. The term ‘red-tagging’ was invented decades ago as a tool to bully anybody critical of the CPP-NPA-NDF and its front organizations into silence. It is a device they use to project that they may become target of any state-sponsored attack. In short, praning sila (they’re just paranoid)!,” Badoy further stressed.

Monteagudo, for his part, said he shared his posts in his social media account “because I see them as artistic expressions of our people similar to the sentiments of former rebels, Indigenous Peoples (IPs), victims and parents 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, the Makabayan bloc led by Congressman Zarate, masquerading as defenders of ‘human rights’, when they are actually part of a terrorist organization that has killed thousands of Filipinos, destroyed many families and robbed the Filipino people of the peaceful and prosperous lives we all dream of.”

Badoy cited a recent Court of Appeals ruling that dismissed the plea for writ of protection and habeas data filed by three human rights groups that were “red-tagged,” saying there was no substantial evidence to establish the petitioners’ allegations of state-sponsored harassment.

In a June 28 decision, the 14th Division of the appellate court denied the petitions for the writ of amparo and habeas data filed by Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), and Gabriela against President Duterte and other senior government officials, including Badoy.

“There is no evidence of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, malicious prosecutions and defamations,” the CA said… The writs cannot be issued on amorphous and uncertain grounds lest their purpose be undermined by the indiscriminate filing of petitions on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations,” the ruling further stressed.

Badoy said besides this latest ruling by the CA, the tribunal even cited a number of previous decisions of the Supreme Court on cases of the same nature.

“Verily, the petitioners’ bare allegations are not facts and do not have probative value to justify the issuance of the extraordinary writs. The broad generalizations of alleged threats and violations border on the contemptuous and do not deserve any judicial action,” the ruling of the tribunal, in part, said.

The actuations of the members of the minority also do not sit well with their colleagues in the House of Representatives.

Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte, for one, claimed that the Makabayan Bloc is simply in it for the “exposure” and “media mileage.”

In a virtual press conference, Vilafuerte quipped: “Eto ang tanong ko, ano ba ang gusto nila? Dalawang bagay: to make amendments, to make proposals; or just to be seen by the public?”