Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson questioned the “paradox” of lawmakers who continue to condone the New People’s Army and its armed warfare against the same government that employs them.
Lacson said that while one may attempt to bring down a government through peaceful means as institutionalized by the two EDSA “peaceful revolutions,” “something is irreconcilable” if one who gets salary from government cannot denounce atrocities against it.
“Senate red-tagging inquiry: Will somebody help explain the logic of some members of Congress publicly condoning the New People’s Army that has been waging a protracted armed guerrilla warfare against the same government that employs them?” he said in a post on his Twitter account Tuesday evening.
“I would have expected a ‘sympathy for their cause but not their methods’ response from the Makabayan bloc who attended the second red-tagging hearing yesterday. That would have been understandable and completely acceptable as a response to my question about the NPA,” he added.
During the Senate hearing on red-tagging on Tuesday, Lacson asked former Rep. Teodoro Casiño pointblank, if he would consider the NPA an enemy, and Casiño answered in the negative.
Lacson said he cannot reconcile such a reply since he gets a salary from the government yet does not even denounce atrocities by the NPA and its “armed struggle.”
“We are not talking of protest rallies. This is different. This is an armed struggle where NPAs kill policemen, soldiers and civilians, and even former members who wanted to return to mainstream society,” Lacson said.
“You belong to government. The government is your employer. You are a member of the same government the NPAs are planning to overthrow through armed struggle,” he added in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
Lacson also recalled the case of former Brig. Gen. Victor Corpus, who defected to the NPA when they were still in the Philippine Military Academy.
“Immediately when he defected, we considered him as an enemy because he became an enemy of the state. But when Corpus returned to the fold of the law, we no longer considered him an enemy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lacson said the Senate defense committee which he chairs will have to study first the possibility of inviting Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison to take part in the next Senate hearing on red-tagging.
“We will have to look into it first since he is out of the Philippines’ jurisdiction and his testimony may not have any probative value even in a legislative inquiry,” he said.
Lacson also noted that in Tuesday’s hearing, red-tagging originally came from Sison, based on a 1987 video shown by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency where Sison made a “roll call” of organizations allied with him. “So ang original red-tagger is Joma Sison himself,” he said.
On the other hand, he said the military has denied red tagging, and presented some rebel returnees who gave their personal accounts, who he said “sounded very credible to me at least as chairman because I was there.”