Second Senate Committee Hearing on Red-Tagging
Sen. Lacson’s Opening Statement at the Hearing:
We all learned in school that conflict given any of the following circumstances: 1) There are no rules; 2) Rules are present but are not explained; 3) Rules are explained but are not understood; 4) Rules are explained and understood but are not followed; and 5) Rules are not evenly applied.
That being said, your Committee on National Defense and Security will conduct today’s hearing for the next 5 hours with the following rules and guidelines:
There will be a 10-minute opening statement each from both sides. Thereafter, the Makabayan bloc will be given the first two hours to make their presentations including the rebuttals of the allegations made in the Nov. 3 hearing, without interruption.
Then the security sector will be assigned the next one hour. And the remaining time will be for the committee members to ask clarificatory questions.
Initially, I made coordination with the security sector that they be given equal time. But upon prodding from the Senate President, since last time was dominated by the security sector, we’ll give the Makabayan bloc more time. Anyway this won’t be the last hearing.
It is in the spirit of fairness and respect for each other that this hearing will be conducted. Remember, this is not a battlefield of guns and bullets but a venue for the soundness of mind and reason.
Lastly, among our guests is an incumbent and distinguished member of the House of Representatives, Rep Carlos Zarate. He should be accorded the courtesy and respect befitting his elective position. So with that, let us begin.
Questions to ‘Ka Eric’ and Teodoro Casiño:
During the hearing, Sen. Lacson directed questions at some resource persons, including former NPA Jeffrey Celiz (Ka Eric), who claimed CPP founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison was lying through his teeth with ease. “Sinabi mo Mr Joma Sison, saksakan ng sinungaling, lying through his teeth with ease. So now, my question is, could it be possible he was lying when he was red-tagging Makabayan, Gabriela, and so forth?”
Celiz replied Sison was “not lying (but) bragging” because he wanted to impress Europe that there is a “broad revolutionary movement.” Sen. Lacson replied it just occurred to him “because you described him like a pathological liar.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Lacson asked Teodoro Casiño, who had served in the House of Representatives, if he shared the same sentiment about former members of his group who took up arms against the government. “Kami, immediately when (fellow PMAers) defected, we considered them as enemies because they became enemies of the state. Now I’d like to ask you point blank: Do you share the same sentiment regarding your former members who, sabi nga nila, na sumampa sa NPA para makipaglaban gamit ang armas?”
When former Rep. Casiño replied they “don’t consider them enemies” as they “are engaged in rebellion, committing an illegal act but we don’t judge them to be enemies,” Sen. Lacson replied, “I am sorry to say this but I cannot reconcile.”
Sen. Lacson added: “Kami, sumusweldo tayo sa gobyerno, sila sumusweldo sa gobyerno. And then eto member nila na sumampa sa NPA na lumalaban sa estado, kasi armed na ito. I’m not talking of protest rallies na sinasalihan. Iba na ito, labanang gyera na ito at nagpapatayan na.” He added he denounces NPAs who are killing policemen, soldiers and civilians, and even former members who wanted to return to mainstream society. “Of course I denounce them,” adding: “If I was not part of government, then I am free not to denounce them. Pwedeng may simpatiya ako sa cause. But I’m with government.”