Ex-rebels bare ACT, NUJP alleged links to Reds

Two organizations have been actively engaged in activities supporting the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), former communist rebels disclosed Thursday.

On the sidelines of a press conference by former rebels supporting a bill that seeks to lower the minimum age of criminal liability, the names of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) surfaced in the discussion exposing their linkages to the rebel group.

“Ka Jamie”, a teacher who claims to be witness to the struggle of various public school teachers in the country, said the CPP-NPA-NDF used the ACT in pushing for the communist group’s agenda.

“Noong una ay issues lang ng mga guro ang topic namin sa mga group discussion kung paano itaas ang aming karampot na sahod (At first, we were only fighting for the low wage of educators),” she said.

She added that she became an organizer of the Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA).

Ka Jamie said she became a regular street demonstrator along with the Public School Teachers Association, calling for the salary increase of public school teachers.

Her involvements, she said, became deeper in the communist organization until she found herself teaching in the Pambansang Demokratikong Paaralan, an educational institution built by the communists, which she refers to as “intentionally designed to foster a rebellious spirit within the students”.

The communist group, she said, has been recruiting minors and deceiving their families of the true cause of the organization.

“Mabilis lang kasi malinlang ang mga tao sa bundok (They can easily deceive people who live in the countryside),” she added.

“Umalis ako kasi gusto ko nang bumalik at buwagin ang ilegal activities, paano naman ang issues naming mga guro (I left because I want to go back and get rid of the illegal activities. What happens to the legitimate concerns of teachers?),” Ka Jamie added.

Meanwhile, “Ka Ernesto”, another former rebel who claimed to have observed anomalies in the NUJP, also bared allegations against the group.

“Ginagamit nila (CPP-NPA-NDF) ang NUJP bilang shield, panangga para ipagpatuloy ang pagsusulong sa digmaang bayan (They are using the NUJP as a shield to continue the protracted war),” he said.

Ka Ernesto, who claims to be an editor-in-chief in his time in college but had to stop because of his involvement in the communist group, said the journalists’ organization “sympathizes with the leftist group”.

“Witness ako kung paanong kino-control nila ang mga balitang lumalabas para sa media giants. Hindi nila nilalabas yung totoo, mga masasamang nangyayari (I am a witness as to how they control news on illegal activities happening within the CPP-NPA-NDF. They exclude the bad details),” he said.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy earlier challenged the head of the NUJP to condemn the atrocities of the CPP-NPA as she denied the media organization’s accusation of PCOO “red-tagging” NUJP members.

“I just want to ask the chairman of the NUJP: will you issue an official statement? Could you do that as a challenge — denouncing the activities, the atrocities of the CPP-NPA? As simple as that,” Badoy told the NUJP, particularly its chairman Nonoy Espina, in a radio interview.

The Philippine News Agency has reached out to both the NUJP and ACT twice on the same day prior to this posting, but the organizations have yet to comment on the issue. (CJC/PNA)