Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar said the President’s directive covers party-list groups and non-government organizations (NGOs) that are enticing people to join the communist movement.
AP/Bullit Marquez, File
Don’t support leftist party-list groups — Palace
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 25, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The public has been urged not to support party-list groups allied with communist rebels.Malacañang issued the statement after President Duterte ordered government troops to “destroy” the decades-old insurgency. 

Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar said the President’s directive covers party-list groups and non-government organizations (NGOs) that are enticing people to join the communist movement. 

“All fronts – be it the armed front, the military front of the NPA (New people’s Army), even their party-list legal front, those that come to our workplaces to recruit members – all of them are included. There are no excuses,” Andanar said on Sunday.  

Asked what would be done to the alleged communist “legal fronts,” Andanar replied in Filipino: “When our enemies campaign in 2019, they have party-list groups, right? That means we should not vote for them.” 

Andanar did not identify the party-list groups and NGOs that are conniving with the communists.

President Duterte previously accused party-list groups Bayan Muna and Gabriela, labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno and transport group Piston of being “legal fronts” for the rebellion. 

Last Saturday, Duterte said the communist movement should be destroyed to maintain law and order in the country.

He warned that the Philippines’ social problems would persist if the government fails to end the 50-year-old insurgency. Duterte also claimed that the rebels and their “legal fronts” are conspiring to overthrow the government.

Andanar said Duterte has created a task force to address the communist insurgency, noting the rebels do not seem to be sincere in pursuing the peace talks. 

“The President came in 2016, extended a peaceful hand, but despite the opportunity given by the President, it seems that the other camp is just fooling us,” he said. 

“Despite the peace talks, they continue to ambush soldiers and policemen and collect revolutionary taxes,” he added, referring to the rebels. 

Early this month, Duterte issued Executive Order No. 70 creating a task force on the communist rebellion and institutionalizing a “whole-of-nation approach” in attaining an “inclusive and sustainable peace.”

The task force was ordered to come up with plans that would enable local government units to hold peace engagements with the rebels. 

MARTIN ANDANAR
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