THE government sees nothing wrong in displaying anti-NPA (New People’s Army) tarpaulins even as it encouraged local government units (LGUs) and other entities “fed up with their lies, atrocities and deceitfulness” to also send strong messages against terrorism.
According to Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, no Juan Dela Cruz should worry about these tarps if they are not a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA or National Democratic Front (NDF).
The CPP/NPA/NDF has been declared in the country as a terrorist group through Proclamation 374 s. 2017 while other countries like the US, New Zealand, UK, Australia, the European Union have also declared them as terrorist organizations.
Año said he sees nothing wrong with denouncing the enemies of the state through the display of messages all over the country since it is protected speech under the Constitution.
“The expressions of sentiment against CPP/NPA/NDF atrocities are free speech and are legally protected under the Constitution. Remember, these are the terrorists’ groups driven by an archaic ideology who have been killing our police and soldiers and extorting from innocent civilians for the past 50 years. It is just right that people denounce them for their crimes against the people,” he stressed.
Año also said that this practice could not be seen as red-tagging since the Communists or the Reds themselves are the ones who admit what they are.
The DILG Chief said that it was CPP Founder Joma Sison, who is comfortably in-exile in The Netherlands, is the one red-tagging the groups so they should complain to their leader and not to the government.
“In Belgium, Sison clearly named their open sectoral front organizations as part of their United Front building. Unmasking these groups controlled and directed by the Communist Party of the Philippines through party branches embedded in them is the solemn duty of government. Otherwise, we will not be doing our duty,” he said.
Previously, tarpaulins and banners declaring CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata sprouted along Roxas Boulevard and other areas in Metro Manila.
“I believe these tarpaulins are mere expressions of citizens or certain groups that they are fed up with abuses and atrocities perpetrated by the CPP/NPA/NDF. I welcome such kind of expression to send the message to the CPP/NPA/NDF that they are not welcome in the national capital region, just like what other provinces, cities, and municipalities all over the country,” he said.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that 20,085 LGUs nationwide (60 provinces, 96 cities, 1,204 municipalities, and 18,698 barangays have issued resolutions declaring the CPP/NPA/NDF as persona-non-grata or unwelcome in their respective LGUs.
In NCR, Mandaluyong City and Muntinlupa City have passed resolutions against the CPP/NPA/NDF as well.