Duterte Youthâs first agenda in House: Probe civilian orgs ârecruitingâ for NPA
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco swears in Ducielle Cardema as a member of the House on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.
Screengrab from Congress' Facebook page

Duterte Youth’s first agenda in House: Probe civilian orgs ‘recruiting’ for NPA

(Philstar.com) - October 15, 2020 - 5:36pm

MANILA, Philippines — With Duterte Youth finding a way to finally sit a representative in the House, the right-wing party-list is now setting in motion its promised agenda in the chamber: To probe civilian organizations for allegedly recruiting the youth to the New People’s Army.

Duterte Youth party-list Rep. Ducielle Cardema filed Thursday a resolution seeking an investigation into the supposed use of these organizations by the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines to recruit new blood into their ranks.

“The patriotic intention of this investigation is for the Philippine Congress and the Filipino people to finally find out which front organizations are recruiting for the New People’s Army,” Cardema said in House Resolution No. 1293.

AS PROMISED TO OUR SOLDIERS & POLICEMEN Congress will find out pano nirerecruit ang mga kabataan maging NPA Fighters na umaambush/pumapatay sa inyo.

Posted by Ronald Gian Carlo Cardema on Thursday, October 15, 2020

Cardema stressed that the goal of her proposal is not to investigate organizations that are simply opposing or criticizing the government.

However, she also wants to invite officials of government organizations that have tagged legal civilian organizations critical of the government as communist fronts.

Along with top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, the National Security Council, and the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Cardema also wants to invite as resource persons former NPA rebels.

“Former NPA rebels who have surrendered to our government might have already given statements and evidence on how they were recruited to the NPA ranks, together with the decades of experiences and intelligence data of [these government agencies],” Cardema said.

Red-tagging, or accusing organizations and individuals as being part of the decades-long communist rebellion, may trigger human rights violations such as harassment, unlawful arrests, torture and threats to life, according to the Commission on Human Rights.

Cardema is the wife of Ronald Cardema, the controversial commissioner of the National Youth Commission who was disqualified to run as a youth representative in Congress for being too old.

Several cases against Duterte Youth are still pending, including a bid to disqualify it as a party-list over missing registration requirements. — Xave Gregorio

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