Makabayan solons 'no-show' anew in 'Salugpongan' inquiry

MANILA -- A ranking official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) on Tuesday hit party-list groups anew for failing to attend the second leg of a Congressional inquiry and ocular inspection on alternative learning centers in Surigao del Sur on April 28-29 to validate claims that they are reportedly being used by communist terrorists to turn the youth against the government..

“We have been waiting for them to appear in two scheduled congressional inquiries on their 'Salugpongan', ALCADEV (Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood) and TRIFPSS (Tribal Filipino Program-Surigao Sur) communist schools but they didn’t show up,“ said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations, Major Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., in a statement sent to reporters.

Parlade expressed disgust that for the second time, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate did not appear for the inspection called for by the House Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples.

Zarate was earlier chided by Parlade for not attending the first leg of the House committee inquiry in Davao City on April 16.

"They are from Mindanao but they didn't come because the truth will expose their duplicity and deception," Parlade said referring to the Makabayan bloc that Zarate is part of.

Based on a House Committee letter from Mangaoang dated April 11, only the second leg of the ocular inspection on April 25 had been requested postponed by Zarate as the latter said "he will not be able to attend the congressional activity due to tight schedule of prior arranged activities and campaign sortie events" thus, the April 28-29 schedule.

Parlade said though that they expected Zarate or any of his colleagues not to show up in the inquiry that Zarate himself pretended to sponsor in a resolution.

“We wanted the 'Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc' to attend so they will hear who have been killing the IPs (indigenous people) in Caraga. It's the NPAs and Zarate knows it. In Butuan alone, a Higaunon was killed by the NPAs on Maundy Thursday and another on April 23. Both were former NPAs who surrendered to the government," Parlade said.

Revealing dialogue

"Let's understand some more who and what these Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc truly represents. Last Sunday and Monday, the committee visited the schools in Lianga Surigao School and TRIFPSS (schools) without Rep. Zarate,” Parlade said.

The dialogue with the tribal communities, he said, was very revealing and they condemned the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front) for destroying their children hence, the latter requested the government to close the remaining schools of TRIFPSS.

“During the inquiry, two teachers of the ALCADEV schools, who recently surrendered to the government gave their testimonies on how they manipulated the children to become radicals and subversives. They also confirmed that many of their graduates ended up becoming leaders of NPA bands in the area,” he said.

These teachers, he added, also confirmed that many of their graduates ended up becoming leaders of NPA bands in the area.

Parlade also called members of the "Kamatayan Bloc" hypocrites as they project themselves to be defenders of these indigenous people but it is their own NPA allies that have been killing them and blame the government for these terror acts.


“Now that they cannot take our challenge, they hype on other issues like Martial Law and West Philippine Sea (WPS). They know that the WPS issue is not the current administration's fault. The reclamation of these islets started during the previous administration,” he said.

He added that members of the Makabayan bloc did not do anything against former president Noynoy Aquino administration's acquiescence to this reclamation.

It is now the present government that the Makabayan bloc is vilifying for not acting enough against the Chinese when it is the previous administration that practically allowed the construction of military bases in WPS, he added.

“Now Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc wants President Duterte’s government to fight the Chinese? With what? Do these Kamatayan bloc members now claim to be the "Avengers"? Wake up Philippines, the "Ghost Riders" are leading the party-list race after making a pact with the devil,” he said.

He also cautioned the public to be wary of these organizations as their deceit, and dual tactics smack of treason.

Undeniable truth

Truth be told, he said, the NDF had no plans to disarm and demobilize the NPA despite the existence of an Interim Peace Agreement (IPA) because what they really wanted was the demobilization of the military thus, the peace talks’ cancellation.

“It is the Bayan website so they cannot deny it. And Jose Ma. Sison calls PRRD and the security sector peace spoilers? We were all duped to the point of stupidity for the last 32 years of peace talks. Do we want another round of it?” he said.

Meanwhile, authorities want the Salugpongan schools closed following allegations that it is being used as recruitment and training grounds of the CPP-NPA, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The reported growing number of IP students joining the ranks of the communist group through the reported training grounds disguised as alternative schools and the continuing violations of IP rights in their ancestral domains prompted the House committee to conduct ocular inspections.

There are three ocular inspections to validate the reported recruitment of indigenous people and continuing violation against their rights: one was in Davao, the second was in Surigao del Sur (April 28-29) and another in Bukidnon (May 9). (PNA)








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