Press Briefing

Press Briefing with Armed Forces of the Philippines Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations, Brigadier General Antonio Parlade; Presidential Task Force on Media Security Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco; The Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat Undersecretary Severo Catura and PCOO Undersecretary for New Media and External Affairs Lorraine Marie T. Badoy

Event Press Briefing
Location New Executive Bldg., Malacanang

MODERATOR: Good morning Malacañang Press Corps, good morning everyone. For today’s briefing, we’ll have some members of the Philippine delegation to the European Union. But before the briefing itself, please watch this short video that they have prepared regarding the recent trip to Belgium, to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to Geneva:

[VIDEO PRESENTATION]

Now to introduce our guests, I would like to call on PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy.

USEC. BADOY: Good morning, Malacañang Press Corps; good morning mga kababayan.

For over 50 years, we were held hostage and we had no idea that we were in such dire straits. For every one step we took forward, we were held back three steps; and how ever hard we tried, we couldn’t seem to make any progress. In fact the harder we tried, it just seemed that our efforts were never good enough and we watched in helpless despair as our country slid slowly but surely into the dark pit while other countries around us, our ASEAN brothers and sisters, found their stride, got to flap their wings and soared leaving us in the dust.

Our men and women in uniform have known the reasons for quite a while now and have held a huge piece of the puzzle because they were at the very frontlines of these protracted war waged against the country by the communist terrorist group, the Joma Sison-led CPP-NPA-NDF.

They’ve seen for decades the abuses and the treachery of this terrorist group; how they wreaked havoc on the Filipino people, from the poorest of the poor to some of our biggest private companies; from threatening to burn down equipment and structures if these companies didn’t cough up and pay the revolutionary taxes they impose, to the actual destruction of these equipment and structures like the blowing up of bridges and communication towers; there’s also been rape, pillage; the burning down of our schools; the using of our indigenous brothers and sisters as shield; mass murders they’ve committed to cleanse their own ranks; torture and murder; and then to put the blame on government, to paint faithful public servants as traitors. They’ve also seen how the political opportunists in our midst took advantage and formed unholy alliances to further their political agenda no matter if it doomed our country further.

It was therefore with great relief that those in the know, heaved a big sigh of relief when the President created Executive Order Number 70 which is the creation of the National Task Force to End the Communist Insurgency that has bedeviled our country for over 50 years now. The order dated December 4 reads in part: “There is a need to create a national task force that will provide an efficient mechanism and structure for the implementation of the whole of nation approach to aid in the realization of the collective aspirations of the Filipino people to attain inclusive and sustainable peace. The approach aims to address the root causes of insurgencies, internal disturbances, tensions and other armed conflicts and threats by prioritizing and harmonizing the delivery of basic services and social developmental packages in conflict-affected areas and vulnerable communities.”

The only Philippine President who has taken on the country’s real problems has taken on this huge problem at a level no other president has – whole of nation and by going to the very roots of the problem and hacking those roots off. One of those roots is the funding the CPP-NPA-NDF has been getting through their legal fronts like the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Kaparatan and the IBON Foundation. To be able to get such funds, it was necessary that they paint such a dire picture of the country and to pull numbers and statistics out of thin air to for instance make the war on drugs seem like a bloodbath with their latest made up number, 30,000 killed; and to make a wildly popular, highly trusted President seem like a butcher, a dictator, a misogynist.

In order to perpetrate this scam, the Joma Sison-led terrorist group, the CPP-NPA-NDF had to keep the poor so poor and to create havoc and obstruct progress.

It was therefore time for the national task force to reach out to our brothers and sisters in the European Union and to tell them of this betrayal. The money that they thought was going to the poorest of the poor was in fact being funneled into the pockets of Joma Sison and his cohorts; and that in effect, they were funding terrorism and poverty in our country via a highly sophisticated global network that spans continents; and that uses the international solidarity framework as cover for their horrific activities here and abroad. Money they had given out of the generosity of their hearts had been used to sow and perpetuate grief and hardship.

We therefore went there to ask that they stop funding terrorism in our country. It was also timed to reach out to the UN and tell them the truth and dispel lies they’ve been fed by traitors in our midst to restore our honor as a people and to give dignity to our government’s sincere efforts to put our country on high ground.

This morning, we give our report to the Filipino nation and the next few steps we wish to undertake to once and for all end this curse that has hostaged our country for far too long. It is our hope that the time for endless political bickering ends when it comes to this whole of nation approach. We are not each other’s enemies, we have a common enemy – and this enemy is Joma Sison and the CPP-NPA-NDF, a group that’s been declared a terrorist group by the US, Canada, UK and lately by the Philippines.

Ladies and gentlemen without further ado, it’s my honor to introduce Armed Forces of the Philippines Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations, Brigadier General Antonio Parlade; Undersecretary and Executive Director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat, Undersecretary Severo Catura; Presidential Communications Operations Undersecretary and Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco. Thank you.

USEC. CATURA: Okay, thank you very much. Good morning, members of the Malacañang Press Corps.

First of all, I would like to thank the PCOO for kindly inviting us, our office, particularly the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat to take part in their information campaign caravan which we deemed as an important opportunity to preserve the integrity of the information coming from the Philippines.

For the information of everyone, I think—although I know you are already aware of this, mayroon po tayong mga kinausap na iba’t ibang mga mekanismo ‘no habang tayo’y pumunta ng Europe. We engaged with the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. We engaged with the European Union and quite particularly with the Belgian Foreign Ministry. We also engaged with the different Chiefs of Missions in the UN, and there were opportunities to meet with the different Filipino communities ‘no.

So ano bang aim natin, bakit natin ginawa ito? One is, if I’m looking at the perspective of one who deals with the UN, una… magandang tingnan kasi dito na we are a very active part of the UN system, at ang pagiging kabahagi natin ng UN system ay hindi lamang maging kabahagi nito o maging kasama, kundi there’s also an obligation for us to strengthen existing mechanisms. In our work that we do, we have seen the extent in which certain mechanisms in the UN and in the EU are being used as platform to advance certain agendas, especially of critics to this administration.

So mayroon tayong tinignan dito—the mission as I said was to preserve the integrity of the information, but it is actually to qualify the extent by which the human rights narrative in our country has been so muddled. Ang nakakaabot sa ibang bansa ay talagang ibang-iba sa nangyayari sa atin. At kanina nga nabanggit ni Usec. Lorraine, ginamit pa ang isang platform, iyong tinatawag nating international solidarity platform – which is a human rights framework ‘no – para lamang magawa nila iyong gusto nila.

Anyway, let me break this down a bit and I would like to ask later on my colleagues to go into the certain areas.

As I said we engaged with the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; ang meeting na ito ay ginanap sa Sarajevo, sa Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dito sa opportuniting ito, we were able to clarify… clarify the 625 cases that were brought to our attention. By the way, I’d like to point out na itong mga kasong ito, hindi ito naganap under the Duterte administration – naganap ito noong panahon pa ni Marcos hanggang sa panahon ni Benigno Aquino ‘no.

So ito iyong sinasabi natin dito na, kahit na hindi man tayo signatory ng isang convention, kasi ito na lamang ang isang convention na hindi natin nalalagdaan ‘no, still nandoon iyong puso natin para magkaroon sana ng closure; matagal na itong mga kasong ito nabibinbin. We also wanted to clarify, ano ba ang prosesong ginawa ng UN para matugunan ang mga kasong ito? Because we—based on our studies, we found out na marami doon kung minsan may mga double entries; mayroon doon may mga acquittals na pero hindi nare-reflect.

So nakakalungkot nga when we moved into that phase wherein we wanted to clarify iyong status noong mga cases na ito, tinuligsa pa tayo – na para bang anong gustong gawin niyan, alisin ang mga kasong ito? We would like to clarify na we wish to have some closure, to bring about peace of mind doon sa mga pamilya ng mga biktima. You know, kung ikaw ay isang pamilya noong—miyembro ka ng pamilya ng biktima, siyempre naman kahit paano gusto mong malaman na may nangyari doon sa mga kaso. Kaya nga ang ginawa natin sa UN Working Group ‘no noong nakipag-usap tayo sa kanila, sabi namin: “Tulungan mo kami—tulungan ninyo kami na para mapaayos ang mga kasong ito para namin ma-resolve ‘no, magkaroon ng certain level of resolution.”

At nawili naman sila at natutuwa nga sila, kasi we started, we initiated this effort to reach out to them in our hope na itong ating mga kababayan na may mga problema tungkol sa enforced disappearance ay kahit paano mabigyan nga ng katahimikan. But again, we do not wish to set them aside, their memories are very important, the political journey of the Philippines is defined by the many heroes of the past who were victims of atrocities, iyong sinasabi natin na kung meron mang nagkaroon ng atrocities. And we wish to make that clear to everyone.
Pangalawa, nagkaroon din tayo ng engagements with the—during the 40th season of the Human Rights Council, meron pong portion doon na tinatawag na high-level segment. So, part of the information campaign natin is try to tell people, hindi lamang dito sa atin, lalo na doon sa labas ng bansa. The use, the extent in which human rights is being promoted, protected and fulfilled in the Philippines.

Ang nakakalungkot nga sa atin dito. We are so confined to the definition of human rights. Ano ba ang definition natin ngayon: EJKs, torture, etc, etc. Nakakalimutan natin na there are equally important issues of human rights, for which the Philippines is being hailed as leaders. Kaya nga ito in-emphasize natin during the session that the Philippines has upheld it’s long tradition of human rights leadership.

We continue to be a global champion – at ito ay kinikilala. Ang nakakalungkot nga, kinikilala tayo doon sa labas, pero dito it appears that we are so being so pilloried. We have achievements in other areas like gender equality, migration governance, climate change, and disaster management. And our role in the ASEAN is something which we should be very proud of. We have taken the lead in the ASEAN-inter governmental commission on human rights and that is something which, the international community particularly the human rights council has really hailed the Philippines.

And then again, really the challenge because of the modern human rights narrative is really a result of the influence of many front organizations masquerading as NGOs and human rights defenders – mamaya mapag-usapan natin that many of them are really the front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.

So, ito po iyong lawak ng ginawa natin sa information campaign and we also had the opportunities for inter-active dialogues. We were able to engage with a—formal engagements during the inter-active dialogues with the so-called UNSR. I think you are very familiar with the UNSR, represented by Agnes Callamard, which incidentally I would like to inform you that many of them were telling us: Please do not make Agnes Callamard a representation of UNSR. She is not a fine example of a UNSR.

We were able to engage interactively with the UNSR on environment, on sale of children, on persons with disabilities at maraming mga magagandang nabanggit sa kanila para sa atin: Iyong UNSR on environment really – in its report – hailed the Philippines for our efforts on the climate change – napakaganda; iyong Special Representative ng Secretary-General on the violence against the children, tayo ay pinuri doon sa ginagawa nating efforts to protect children in armed conflict; and then iyong mga efforts natin with regards to addressing the concerns of PWDs, citing iyong enactment of the mental health law.

So, ito iyong nakita natin na opportunities for which you could be able to expand awareness of people and it was also an affirmation by the international community that we are doing things right. So, again, gusto kong magpasalamat sa PCOO for that opportunity na binigay sa amin para kahit paano naging kabahagi sa information campaign na ito at kahit na iyong mga kababayan natin sa ibang bansa at least man lang namulat na ito iyong ginagawa natin sa hanay ng human rights.

And again, babalikan natin itong human rights narrative natin ay kailangan nating isulong ng maayos at ang i-challenge dito is we hope to address the negative information coming from other groups that are very critical of this administration. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Usec. Catura. Now let’s hear from General Parlade.

GEN. PARLADE: Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. Probably, I will give you some of the slides that we showed doon sa UN, sa Bosnia and sa Geneva and then the EU para lalong maintindihan ninyo kung ano iyong engagement – ano ang itsura ng engagement na ginawa namin sa Europe. But this one, this engagement all started when the CPP celebrated its 50th anniversary last December 26.

So, nakita natin na napakatagal na nitong insurgency na ito at iyong grupo ni Joma doon sa Utrecht, eh halos hindi natin nagagalaw and true enough sa ating pagre-research na nakita natin na ang dami po nung funding na nakukuha nitong mga organizations na ito, specifically from the European Union. Ang nakita natin na very clear is the release of some 622,000 Euros para doon sa rural missionaries of the Philippines and they are proudly displaying the logo of the European Union without the EU knowing na ito pala ay mga front organizations.

So, noong nag-research kami, we engaged the Ambassador of EU in Manila and we found out that the EU is also planning to release another 1.3 million euros para doon sa mga succeeding projects nila, also, being undertaken by the rural missionaries of the Philippines. So, medyo nabahala tayo, dahil baka sa laki ng natatanggap nila, lalong matagalan itong insurgency na pinipilit natin na matapos especially now that we have this national task force.

So, naging magandang opportunity iyong invitation ng United Nations for the Philippine government to present its case on the 625, iyong missing na 625. This was the 117th session of the working group on enforce and involuntary disappeared persons, sa Bosnia. At meron ding invitation sa Geneva on human rights also, kaya minarapat namin na i-engage na iyong UN and then iyong EU dahil paulit-ulit iyong invitation na wala tayong pini-present na data sa kanila at ang umiiral naman na narrative ay iyong narrative ng mga makakaliwa, especially these organizations like Karapatan and Ibon at ginagamit iyong UN system at iyong kanilang connection sa UN system para itong mga hindi magandang balita na ito at saka iyong mga fabricated reports nila ay paratingin sa UN and sa European Union – so, ganoon ang naging kuwento.

But, I’ll probably show to you some of the slides that we presented. Can you flash the first slide please! Actually on the 625, we emphasized to the UN that many of these 625 probably disappeared during the purging years of the Communists Party of the Philippines which was from the period of 1983 to 1986. Inamin po ito ng Communist Party of the Philippines sa kanilang anniversary statements. Bago lang itong anniversary statements na ito, compilation of anniversary statements at kung nababasa n’yo po, inamin nila diyan that they tortured and murdered more than 950 of their cadres – 950 po, more than the 625 na hinahanap natin.

And through enough, noong grinaph (graph) natin ito, in-analyze natin, many of the 625 disappeared during this period. Mga 80% po ng nawala ay hindi nawala noong martial law, but nawala during this period, 1983 to 1986. So pinakita namin iyong link at naging guide ito ng reference ng United Nations at sila naman ay kumbinsido, hindi naman ito gawa-gawa ng AFP. Ito ay naka-publish by the way sa revolutionary website nila – ng CPP-NPA.

By the way iyong isang picture diyan sa baba sa kabila, iyan iyong picture ng Inopacan, Leyte Massacre. Ito po iyong ‘Oplan VD’ sa Inopacan, iyong sa Samar, iyong ‘Oplan Zombie’, matindi rin iyon. Hundreds ang nakalibing diyan at hindi pinag-uusapan iyan doon sa UN, hindi rin pinag-uusapan sa UN WGED.

Iyong pictures po sa ibabaw, I think, this was taken 2005. But madami pang killings na nangyayari, especially on the IPs. May picture pa ba tayo? next slide po. Wala yata iyong ibang pictures, but this is just to show you kung papaano nila ginagamit ang mga front organizations nila tulad ng Karapatan para i-project ang mga maling balita sa international community.

This is just to show you how robust this structure of the enemies is. Ito po ay galing sa kanilang mga dokumento, meron silang tinatawag na international department. Ang kanilang international department ay napakalaki na po at well-funded.

Sige, next slide. Ang international department ng Communist Party of the Philippines ay pinamumunuan po ni Joma Sison, at napakalaki na ng organisasyong ito. Iyong mga blue na iyan na boxes na nakikita ninyo sa ilalim, iyan iyong mga chapters nila worldwide. Hindi lang magkasya lahat ng boxes kaya iyan lang ang nakikita ninyo.

Actually po, sa latest na analysis—this is a 2015 data. Sa latest na data namin, two layers na iyan, two layers na iyan. And all of these countries are contributing to this effort of the Communist Party of the Philippines to … itong rebolusyon na ito na pinaglalaban ni Joma Sison.

Itong graph na ito ay pinapakita lang na si Joma Sison, siya po ang head ng International Coordination Group (ICG). I have here a document signed by Joma Sison inviting all this members throughout the world, including all this ILPS [International League of Peoples´ Struggle] organizations or affiliates, kasama iyong IBON, Karapatan, KMU. Lahat ito nandito sa listahan na ito, kung gusto ninyong tingnan, nasa website po nila iyan. Kaya ako ay natatawa doon sa mga lumalabas na balita na red tagging daw iyong gobyerno, iyong NICA red tagging. Hindi po. Si Joma ang nag-red tag ng mga organization na ito kasi nilagay niya sa kaniyang website itong mga organisasyon na iyan.

But anyway, sige po, next slide. These are just some of the officers, at makikita ninyo, sa buong mundo. Iyang mga pangalan na iyan eh—well-represented ang maraming bansa diyan.

Next slide, next slide po. Okay. Ito, it’s just an explanation paano nila in-infiltrate iyong UN. Kaya po ang narrative doon sa UN, consistent. Consistent sila doon sa maling narrative because they have people in the UN. Rapporteur, may IP Rapporteur sila doon. Actually, iyong rapporteur na iyon, nasa listahan iyan ng … as a member of the Communist Party noong pinaylan [filed] natin ng kaso iyong Communist Party as a terrorist organization.

Sige po, next, next slide po. This is just to show you kung gaano sila ka-systematic. Mayroon silang tinatawag na clearing house, ang tawag nila diyan ay Mindanao Indigenous Peoples’ Conference. Iyan po ang clearing house ng lahat ng projects nila sa Mindanao. At mayroon kang nakikita diyan na Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. at nakikita ninyo diyan iyong Rural Missionaries of the Philippines.

Ang Rural Missionaries of the Philippines ay mga madre po iyan, mga sisters ang nagpapatakbo ng mga projects nito; one of them is being funded by the European Union. And when we engaged the Belgian parliament, we found out na mayroon din pala silang malaking pondo na binibigay dito sa mga organization na ito.

But please take note, ang end state nila doon ay dalhin ang kaso sa international … i-internationalize iyong kasi. I-try iyong ating Presidente, o kung sinumang presidenteng nakaupo sa International People’s Tribunal. So iyan ang objective nila. So talagang sisirain nila kung sinuman ang nakaupo para i-try dito sa International People’s Tribunal. Of course, hindi na nakalagay ang isa sa mga objectives nila talaga is iyong talagang mag-generate ng funds.

Sige, next, next slide po. Sample ng isang product ng IBON Foundation. Napakalinaw diyan kung ano ang objective nila. Ang nakapirma diyan ay si Murphy. But really, the objective of this is to portray the sitting President as a tyrant, as oppressive.

Sige next, next slide po. Sample ng kanilang mga pamphlets: Save Our Schools. Ano bang schools ang gusto nilang i-save? Ito po iyong mga Salugpungan schools na nagti-train ng mga kabataan para maging radikal; nagti-train ng mga bata para maging rebelde. At ito po, dala-dala ko rito iyong kanilang mga manuals, mga ginagamit nila sa Salugpungan schools and ALCADEV [Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Inc.] produced by IBON Foundation. Kung i-share ko ito sa inyo mamaya, makikita ninyo kung papaano nila nira-radicalize iyong mga estudyante as young as 7 years old para eventually ay maging cadre nila.

Sige po, next. Another slide. But ang common dito sa mga slides na ito… doon sa mga pamphlets na ito ay iyong word na “donate.” Donate, donate, donate, support. Even this communication of Joma on the international assembly or congress – sa Hong Kong magkakaroon na naman sila ngayong June – nakalagay doon, ‘Please make sure that you pay your dues,” so pera talaga. It’s all about money. Kaya nga sinabi natin sa last interview natin na, I think this is really a big scam that we have to uncover.

Sige po, next. I think that’s the last slide. Okay, isang sample din ng produkto ng IBON: portraying the President as the least … you know, 81,000 daw na workers or jobs ang na-generate ng ating Presidente. Noong tsinek natin sa PSA at saka sa DOLE, napakalayo po. Hindi iyan iyong accurate na representation nitong, of course, iyong jobs that was generated during the time of the President.

So bottom line, magaling po silang mag-fabricate. And these materials, these literatures are well-funded by these organizations—by these governments in Europe, including the EU at kinakailangan pong malaman nila ito. So iyon po ang pinaka-purpose, isa sa mga purposes actually ng ating pagpunta doon sa UN and EU.

USEC. EGCO: Well, I understand, we are a bit pressed for time so hindi ko na masyadong habaan. But I think, I believe, the two gentlemen beside me were able to sufficiently and substantially explained the mission objectives of our trip to Europe.

And the PCOO is part of the national task force ‘no, itong EO 70, and of course as the information arm ay ito po ang naging role niya ‘no. So we called that mission as the Truth Caravan, wherein we also married the Press Freedom Caravan which we have been doing since last year with Secretary Andanar and Asec. Ablan, where we directly engage with stakeholders not only in the local scene but also abroad ‘no – iyong ating mga Filipino communities. And I tell you, I would like to assure you na very fruitful and we discovered a lot of things, there were a lot of realizations during the trip, especially iyong sinasabi ni General Parlade kanina about iyong funding na iyan.

In fact, during that meeting in Brussels talagang nagulat kami sa amount involved ‘no sa Belgium pa lamang; hindi pa kasama dito iyong mga ibang bansa sa Europe. And of course, iyong mga issues on human rights, where Usec. Catura was able to …well, he was able to eloquently explain to the experts, UN experts the real situation here in the Philippines, what’s really happening. And sabi ko nga sa kanila, we did not fly half way across the world to tell them lies. So what we did was actually – I’d like to borrow your term – you know, preserve the integrity of information of what’s really happening in the Philippines.

And paulit-ulit din naman po naming sinasabi na kulang na kulang talaga – in fact, hindi kulang, hindi lang kalahati, minsan baliktad pa iyong impormasyon na nakakarating talaga doon. Hindi minsan, madalas. So what—our message there was that there are enough mechanisms here being done by … well, laid out by the administration of Presidente Duterte and it’s just unfortunate that some groups ‘no, there are a lot, there are many groups who refuse to avail of those mechanisms for one reason or another. So doon na nga din umiikot iyan.

Well, in terms of outputs naman, I have here a summary of the complete PCOO outputs when it comes to, you know, releasing or iyong mga blow by blow account of our engagements there. So everything was transparent; everything was aboveboard. They were very happy, the Filipino communities. We engaged the media. You know, it’s not easy to face members of the European Union parliament – matatalinong tao iyan — and experts of the United Nations. Hindi natin puwedeng bolahin iyong mga iyan. So talagang iyon lang, very truthful at kung ano iyong totoong nangyayari sa ating bansa, iyon naman ang ating mensahe doon sa kanila.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, to summarize what you said, sir, the message to the EU was for them to stop funding these organizations, right? And what’s the feedback from them then?

BGEN PARLADE: They were so surprised to know that these organizations are actually part of the—this terrorist organization. So of course, we have to show proof. So—but we didn’t go there actually to file complaint or what, it was an exploratory engagement kaya very ano sila, maganda iyon response nila. At noong naintindihan nila, nagbigay sila ng commitment na they really have to stop this because they don’t want to be seen as, you know, providing support to these terrorist organizations—

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: They will no longer fund these organizations?

BGEN PARLADE: No. They wanted us to provide more evidences, and then to file the formal complaint because during the time when we went to Europe, we didn’t have the formal—exploratory nga. So that’s what we are doing now, we are consolidating all our evidences para i-submit sa European Union – and as soon as they have that, they promised to stop this funding.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: When do you plan to file that complaint, sir?

BGEN PARLADE: Sorry, when?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: When do you plan to file that complaint?

BGEN PARLADE: Our legal cooperation group under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Insurgency is now doing this, so it’s up to them. Maybe if we can complete the packaging of this, we can transmit it as early as tomorrow or maybe next month. The earlier the better, because they wanted us to move fast also because the next tranche of funds could be released anytime soon – so they wanted to make sure that they have these documents before they release the succeeding tranche of…

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, can you provide us with the list of—complete names of organizations that are being funded? You mentioned about IBON Foundation, Karapatan… what else sir?

BGEN PARLADE: The document that the Belgian government gave, initially they mentioned that they have 7 Belgian organizations existing here in Manila. But under these organizations, these Belgian organizations are the front organizations of the CPP. I’m not at liberty to divulge to you right now itong mga… pangalan nitong mga organizations na ito. But ang very clear doon na nasa front page ng ano is this IBON and Karapatan. So, kaya right away iyon ‘yung binabanggit natin.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Ilan sila, sir?

BGEN PARLADE: Sorry. Ilang ano? Organizations?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Yes.

BGEN PARLADE: I don’t know. Actually we are still finalizing the document exploitation of this, and parang nakakatrenta na na organization.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Around 30…

BGEN PARLADE: Baka—sa last na pag-uusap namin mga trenta na. Sabi nila, sa Mindanao pa lang iyon, mayroon pang Visayas, mayroong Luzon… so I don’t know. Maybe aabot sa daan ang organization na pinopondohan nito.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Thank you, sir.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: General, I remember the same message you already relayed during the past administration about some groups being front organizations, being leftist organizations infiltrating international groups. What’s the new message this time? Apparently, hindi ba sila na-convince dati kasi mayroon ding mga ganito dati; parang there was an effort by the military to clarify iyong supposed links noong some groups with leftist organizations trying to infiltrate international organizations. Hindi sila na-convince dati.

BGEN PARLADE: Kailan ba itong sinasabi—anong timeframe nito?

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: No, dati pa—

BGEN PARLADE: Panahon ni Presidente… ano?

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Aquino, Arroyo… dati nang sinasabi ng military na itong groups na ‘to are front organizations and they are trying to secure funding from international groups and they’re internationalization issues. So iyong last time, ano kayang nangyari doon? Parang hindi yata na-convince iyong—

BGEN PARLADE: Let’s be honest ano. It’s only in this administration na sineryoso ito. Kaya even the AFP, hindi puwedeng magseryoso-seryoso, mare-relieve ka. During the time of PNoy if you remember, mare-relieve ka kapagka you are not toeing the line ‘no. So let’s be frank, let’s be very frank – it’s only in this administration na nakita natin na seryosong tapusin itong insurgency na ito. Kaya ngayon, pursigido tayo na gawin iyong trabaho natin. But in the past naglalaro eh, so I don’t know… for political reasons or whatever, siguro binabalanse lang nila.

And then there’s the peacetalks also, iyon nga. For so long, 31 years tayong nakikipag-peacetalks, yung same framework, the same framework ang ginagamit natin; at ang end state ng framework na iyon is not even peace – it’s a national democratic revolution. So—or coalition power saving ang nakalagay doon. So iyong peacetalks na iyon ano lang iyon, part ng legal struggle lang iyon; secondary to the armed struggle. At napakalinaw ‘yan, for 31 years ganiyan iyong framework na ‘yan. So si AFP of course, sumusunod lang kung ano iyong policy ng nakaupong—

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: So naging cautious iyong previous administrations in dealing with the left, kaya… you are saying kaya hindi masyadong intensified ‘tong ganitong info-campaign because of the peacetalks?

BGEN PARLADE: Ah, maari… Yes, maari—

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Ano iyong sinasabi ninyo na ‘pag hindi tinoe (toe) the line, mare-relieve? What was the line that was supposed…?

BGEN PARLADE: Maalala mo ang dami naming hinuhuli noon na mga komunista… eh nare-release, mapapakawalan – kaya nawawalan ng gana iyong military. Ang dami-dami, in fact ang dami nang nakakulong; everytime na mayroong peacetalks, mayroong mga nire-release. So really, it’s only now that the AFP felt this issue on insurgency is being seriously addressed.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: So, how would you describe then iyong anti-insurgency efforts noong previous admin if that’s the case?

BGEN PARLADE: Iyong ating campaign naman ng AFP before was very effective, pababa na nga nang pababa iyong numbers ng kalaban. But everytime na magkaroon tayo ng peacetalks, may ceasefire doon naman tumataas iyong numero ng ating mga kalaban. But in the past administration, hindi masyado iyong whole of nation. Now talagang whole of government plus the society, so whole of nation talaga tayo. So this time, lahat naa-address including iyong recruitment sa mga schools, including iyong mga issues ng mga IPs natin… So maganda ang chances natin ngayon na matatapos natin itong insurgency na ‘to.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Thank you po.

USEC. CATURA: If I may add to that ano, coming from the peace process myself. I think it was basically an effort for us to make the peace process work at that time. Tandaan po natin na when the CPP-NPA were declared as terrorist organization, it was government itself na nagsabi na, “Uy teka nga muna, puwede ba nating pagbigyan natin sila?” Kaya nga doon mismo sa aspetong ‘yun, we limited ourselves ‘no in really pushing forward kasi that was part of the confidence building, that was part of the entire peace process. Negotiations was very much part of the peace process.

But what we’re saying now is, “Teka nga muna… nagbigay na tayo nang sobra-sobra pero bakit ganito pa ang ginagawa ninyo? Patuloy pa rin pag-ambush sa baba, patuloy pa rin iyong pagsisira ninyo sa kinabukasan ng mga kabataan…” Pati kami, nagulat kami noong nakita namin iyong kanilang curriculum eh, instead na tinuturuan nang maayos na pag-aaral, iyong mga bata tinuturuan mag-assemble ng rifle – so sinira na. So sabi natin dito, enough is enough. Let’s go the other way. Anyway if we take a look at the peace process, the peace process is not limited by peace negotiations alone. Alam naman natin iyon ‘di ba, maraming mga peace paths. Thank you.

BGEN PARLADE: And by the way, hindi natin in-abandon iyong peacetalks. Iyong localized peacetalks, ongoing ‘yan at napakaganda ng result. At iyon ang ayaw ni Joma, kasi nagiging irrelevant sila doon sa Utrecht. So kaya pinipilit nila na magkaroon uli ng peacetalks with them. Ba’t hindi, let’s give these local officials to deal with this local communist. Kasi iyong issue, mas alam nitong mga local leaders natin, so grounded sila. So napapag-usapan nang mabuti iyong mga issues, kaya iyon, napakadami na po ang nagsu-surrender – 14,000 na… sa last count namin, I think 14,000.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: To General Parlade or Usec. Catura. How much money are we talking about here? Do you have an idea on how much money iyong groups po na sinasabi ninyo get and how regular…?

BGEN PARLADE: Okay, we start with the EU. Si Ambassador mismo dito sa Manila, he admitted that they are about to release something like 2 million Euros. For just one organization, 2 million Euros. ‘Yun iyong actually, ‘yun iyong isa sa mga reason kung bakit talagang pinursue (pursue) natin doon sa European Union iyong issue na ito.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Two million Euros, that’s for…

BGEN PARLADE: For rural—sorry, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, for a period of… the first tranche was completed in December last year, kaya ngayon ino-audit na nila iyon, iyong 621,000 – that’s equivalent to 32 million pesos eh. And then the next tranche, itong year na ito. So that’s equivalent to 2 million total. And I heard, according to the Ambassador, mayroon ding portion na nanggaling ng Peru. Can you imagine Peru, nagbibigay ng donation sa Pilipinas. So that we have to trace also, but that’s coming from—from the EU.

Now sa Belgium, when we engaged the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we found out that they are actually supporting the 7 NGOs in the Philippines with 3 million Euros a year, for a period of 5 years – so that’s 15 million Euros. We are not saying that all these NGOs are being exploited by the Communist Party of the Philippines. Iyon nga ang pinag-aaralan natin, kung ano itong mga organizations na nanginginabang [nakikinabang] doon sa mga pondo na ito. But that’s only two entities, iyong EU and the Belgian government.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Just to clarify sir, iyong 2 million Euros, that’s from the EU as an organization?

BGEN PARLADE: Yes.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Okay. And then iyong sinasabi ninyo pong 7 NGOs with 3 million, that’s 3 million Euros each?

BGEN PARLADE: No, for the 7 NGOs.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Ah for the 7—ah sorry, rather 3 million every year for 5 years?

BGEN PARLADE: Yes, for the 7. And of those organizations na sinabi nila, in-admit nila is MSP (?) and ALCADEV. Kaya naalala na naman namin iyong EU, iyong funding ng EU doon sa ano, because this is the same group that the EU is funding. So si Belgium at saka si EU, they are funding one project. So it could be that there’s a seco—ah, double-funding scheme or even triple-funding scheme. So that’s what we want to find out with the other countries, baka nagbibigay din sila ng support dito sa the same project na ito.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Okay. Sir speaking of that, you mentioned kasi—you used the word ‘scam’ earlier. Are you referring to a money-making scam which you hope to reveal? If so, how does this reflect then on the ideology that the group is supposedly fighting for?

BGEN PARLADE: Surprisingly we were told and we were asked… don’t they know—according to the EU, don’t they know that communism is dead? So, it’s not really about ideology anymore, I think it’s about all the funding that they are getting. I’ll show you a list of the organizations that’s attending the 6—I think the 6th International Assembly. This is an assembly of the International League of People’s Struggle, magkakaroon sila ng 6th or 7th sa Hong Kong.

This one is from the fifth, and this is a three-page list of organizations. Hindi ko papangalanan, otherwise sasabihin nila red tagging na naman ako. But this is from their website. Mamaya I’ll share this to you, but—or you can search their own website.

But anyway what I’m saying is, in the recent list, iyong mga na-invite nila – mayroon nang Papua New Guinea, mayroong mga organizations from Senegal, mayroon from Brazil… so worldwide. At sabi ko nga, nakalagay doon sa last page ng kaniyang letter, basahin ko na lang: Number 7 – “Please encourage the member-organizations connected to your commission to pay their membership dues either to the ILPS country chapter, if one exists in your country, or to the ILPS National Treasurer. In solidarity, Professor Jose Maria Sison.”

So nakikita namin that this is really a scam. Hindi lang alam noong ibang mga organizations, baka billions-billions itong nakokolekta nila. And according to the 45 years international solidarity works na papel ng Communist Party of the Philippines, their presence is now in 7 regions around the world – ang tawag nila doon is Global Regional Party Committees.

So, yung North America na dati ay one global party committee, ngayon naghiwalay na. So hiwalay na si Canada sa US. Then, merong South America, merong Middle East and Africa, may Asia, merong Japan, may Southeast. So, hindi natin alam kung gaano na sila kalaki at gaano kalaki ang mga pondo na nakukuha nila dito sa mga organizations na ito.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: Last. Briefly sir, so, is that going to be the plan now to reveal this supposed scam, is there going to be serious efforts to reveal this?

BGEN. PARLADE: Yes, there’s a—I’ve been getting a lot of communications, yes letters from other—from counterparts that they are very interested in knowing what’s happening, knowing what we have discovered in this engagement in Europe. And I think that is what we are going to do. That is what we are discussing now with the National Security Council on how do we go about informing all these nations that there’s such a thing that ILPS getting so many millions from their citizens, I don’t know baka ano rin, baka funded din ng ibang gobyerno, we don’t know yet.

But as soon as we get the report of those who are doing the document exploitation, ishe-share natin, kailangan ipaalam natin ito eh.

USEC. EGCO: I’d like to emphasize lang sa question ni Ina for clarity, that’s only for Belgium, iyong 15 million. Iyong 15 million is for Belgium only, so marami pa iyan.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, but these are legal front organizations, right?

BGEN. PARLADE: Yes.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So, how do we compel EU then, if the Philippine government recognizes these organizations as legal organizations?

BGEN. PARLADE: We have to show them proof that legal organizations are actually committing or contributing to these, all these revolutionary –well, sabi ko nga isang example ni Usec ay itong eskuwelahan nila, iyong Salugpungan ng Alcadev, tinuturuan iyong mga bata na maging radical, magkalas ng M-16, ang kanilang curriculum nakalagay doon, for instance ang A for instance ay armas, ang B Bala, ang K Kaaway, D ay dahas. And I have here, gusto ninyong makita iyong kanilang lesson plan, mga ‘ismo’ ang mga tinuturo dito. Ito lesson plan, mamaya silipin ninyo kung ano ang nakalagay dito, mga komunismo, marxismo – grade 6, grade 7. So, tinuturuan nila kung—ito very systematic iyong kanilang indoctrination dito sa mga schools na ito.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So, sir no effort from the government to declare these organizations as illegal organizations, if..?

BGEN. PARLADE: Like I said, we are now studying whatever documents we have. We have so many testimonies coming from students and former students of this school na naging rebelde na. Lahat ito kino-consolidate natin and by the way, this was part of the submission that we gave to the UN permanent mission natin sa Geneva. Kasi nga itong mga violations na ito ng mga IPs, including itong recruitment ng mga IP children to become rebels, iyong mga violation ng IP rights ay hindi naman pinapansin ng UN Rapporteur on IPs.

So that was the perfect opportunity for us, total may dala-dala kaming mga electronic copy ng ano. Nung nakita namin iyong mandate ng UN Rapporteur ay very clear doon, kailangan lang iparating sa kanila na itong mga violation na ito nangyari at aaksiyunan nila – pero wala, walang aksyon ng UN-IP Rapporteur natin. So, this time we presented Ambassador Ivan Garcia, the list of the 17 violations with the corresponding attachments, mga affidavits, mga pictures. But partial lang iyon, we are still consolidating more evidences coming from the field.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Hi sir, good morning. Sir, if these are legal organizations. Is there a chance that the European Union is not aware that they are funding front organizations of the communist group?

BGEN. PARLADE: They admitted it that they are not aware because for instance iyong Belgium, ang moni-monitor lang nila iyong mandate nitong seven Belgian organizations at very clear naman doon: protection of human rights, women’s rights, environmental protection; magaganda naman iyong kanilang advocacies kaya sila nagbibigay ng funding. Inamin nila, hindi na nila ina-alam kung ano iyong mga organization sa ilalim nitong mga Belgian organizations, iyong mga local organizations na sinusuportahan nitong 7 Belgian organizations.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But you mentioned earlier sir, na merong seven NGOs na pina-fund nila for five consecutive years na. So, if that’s the case, gaano na pala katagal iyong posibilidad na pinopondohan nito iyong mga front organizations?

BGEN. PARLADE: Hindi pa po umabot doon iyong aming investigation, wala pang report. But, mamadaliin namin para masagot itong mga tanong na ito, kasi sabi nga natin, nagmamadali rin sila na matanggap iyong report na iyon, para on their part, maka-action sila. At least on our part, siguro gusto nilang mangyari ay ma-disqualify na iyong accreditation nitong mga NGOs na ito, maano na, maputol.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But do we still accept donation coming from EU?

BGEN. PARLADE: What do you mean ‘we’?

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Government, is the government still accepts donations?

BGEN. PARLADE: The Philippine government?

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Yes, the Philippine government.

BGEN. PARLADE: We are not talking of the EU providing assistance to the Philippine government, we are talking of the EUs support to this non-government organizations, NGOs po ito. So, I don’t know kung ano.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: No, because I am just wondering, if may epekto ba iyon, in any case, how will it affect iyong possible assistance na binibigay nila doon sa mga—I mean legit programs, if the government is planning to file complaint.

BGEN. PARLADE: I’m sorry I cannot answer that, hindi ako masyadong familiar diyan sa aspect na iyan.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Usec. Catura?

USEC. CATURA: I think the main message that we really wanted to hear from the EU was their openness. It was really the first time that they heard about this important information, that they were funding front organizations. In fact, they were very proud to tell us na “well in fact these are the groups that we are funding” only to be informed by General Parlade na teka nga muna, ito iyong mga ano ninyo. So, ang sabi nila, since this is it, we encouraged you to really work on the evidences that you are preparing so that for us to really be very cautious.

And at the same time, itong ginagawa kasi natin, this is also to protect iyong mga legitimate organizations na talagang totoong may puso na tumutulong. Just imagine, instead na mapunta sana doon sa mga legitimate organizations, the bulk of the funds go to, you know, these organizations na ang talagang target nila is to undermine and overthrow not only the government, but to change the facade, the infrastructure of Philippine society.

Kaya nga kung minsan ang iniisip mo nga naman, mahirap makipag-usap sa isang tao na ang agenda niya ay sirain ka. So, how could you come up with that ano? But then for years, sabi nga natin, for years we tried to extend the hand of unity, a hand of reconciliation dahil nga may peace process, pero at this point, sabi natin, enough is enough. Masyadong malaki na ang at stake sa kinabukasan ng ating mga kabataan.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, those materials that you mentioned na – si General: lesson plans, the way they teach their kids at schools, is there anything illegal about it?

BGEN. PARLADE: I think, I’ll have to show this to you and you read for yourself para ikaw magsabi kung…

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: No sir. You said, they are teaching communism, they are teaching to become radical.

BGEN. PARLADE: Hindi, basahin mo na lang.

USEC. CATURA: Arjay… I think yung point natin dito is one: communism is an ideology that is accepted worldwide, walang problema iyan. But if you cross the bounds of – you go towards a violence, doon na magiging problema. In fact, the main message natin sa EU was alam ninyo we respect the ideology of communism, but your counterpart in the Philippines is doing you a great disservice, ginawa n’yo nang terrorist ito. Hindi iyon ang gusto nila eh, kasi ito iyong mga taong gustong magpabago ng lipunan pero sa maayos na paraan.

So, I think there was a stark agreement during the discussion and they were also quiet surprised. Kasi iba iyong ano eh, kung makikita mo ano, ginagamit nila iyong word na international solidarity and that is a framework which is accepted globally. You use international solidarity, because it’s an obligation of developed countries to help developing countries. Kaya lang ang ginawa nila, ginawa nilang platform ito to make use of that generosity of EU countries para kumuha sila ng pera.

In fact, meron ngang triple funding, double funding. So they were able to take advantage of that. Ang sinasabi naman ng EU, alam namin iyon, pero hindi namin alam iyong extent na ginamit iyong aming pondo. In fact, nagulat nga na sinabi nga namin sa kanila “you know, we appreciate what EU is doing, what appreciate what Belgium is doing, but we could not wish to think to ourselves that EU and Belgium are funding terrorism in the Philippines. Doon sila nag—teka nga muna, hindi puwedeng mangyari iyon. But that’s the reality eh and that is the truth that we wanted to tell them. And that was the essence of the information campaign that we wanted to push.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, what’s the school again? What do we call this?

BGEN. PARLADE: Salugpungan Schools, Alcadev, merong TRIFFS, may Clans – iba-iba.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: These are schools for terrorism?

BGEN. PARLADE: No, I did not say that. These are alternative learning schools na pinut-up nitong mga rural missionaries, ng mga organizations na allied sa kaliwa. Supposedly para turuan iyong mga kabataan, kasi merong pagkukulang nga, merong pagkukulang ng eskuwelahan sa mga malalayong lugar. But you will be surprised many of these schools are actually inside the guerrilla bases, the guerrilla zones. So, hindi sila accessible doon sa mga teachers natin, sa DepEd.

So, it’s by design na nandoon sila. So iyon yun so, iyong curriculum nila ang nagpo-produce ang mga radical. Natututo naman silang magbasa, natututo naman sila eh, iyon nga lang ang abakada nila is armas, bala – so iyon. Ang isang sample nilang isang declarative statement, halimbawa: ang sundalo ay human rights violator. Iyon malinaw iyan doon sa mga dokumento nila. Kung ikaw ay nagugutom, ang sagot: matutulog ka na lang; magsusumikap kang para ma-overcome ang iyong gutom or magtrabaho para ano; o umalsa, iyan iyong mga choices doon. But I will show you all these documents para kayo mismo ang mag-ano at sabihin ninyo kung tama bang itong curriculum na ito na pinapatupad ng mga schools na funded nitong mga rural missionaries of the Philippines na ito.

USEC. EGCO: And besides, if I may add, sir. Bukod doon sa mga dokumentong hawak ni General, there are former students nitong mga schools na ito na lumutang naman na sila at sila na mismo ang nagkukuwento, kakaiba talaga iyon, kumbaga tayo nung araw, merong mga PE, PE kapag Friday, kanila iba, talagang pinapahawak sila ng—tinuturuan kung paano mag-dismantle ng baril. So, hindi na PE iyon, so these are – parang may sarili silang ROTC. Kaya lang mga maliliit itong bata eh, iyan ang problema diyan. So sa kanila nanggagaling iyong mga—may sarili sila.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Iba namang paksa ano. Some senators have criticized the trip saying it’s unnecessary and it’s a waste of taxpayer’s money. Now for the record how much was spent for the trip – kung sino po ang makakasagot?

BGEN. PARLADE: Hindi naman kami nag-usap kung magkano ang nagastos namin.

USEC. EGCO: Nag-utangan pa kami.

BGEN. PARLADE: Basically, pamasahe, of course hindi naman libre iyong pamasahe, magho-hotel ka, pero dahil maliit lang iyong per diem ng gobyerno, nakikitira na lang kami sa mga kaibigan namin at kumakain kami doon sa kumbaga iyong bangketa para makatipid. Ang mahal po, ang mahal ng pagkain sa Europe, ang hotel sa Europe, hindi natin kayang pumunta doon. Pero hindi fair, mali iyong ano na iyon na junket? Sabi nga namin eh, four times, five times nang iniimbita ang AFP, ang Philippine government na sagutin itong mga katanungan na ito ng UN on – iyong WGED. Eh ngayon na sinasagot, pinuntahan natin, at sasagutin natin iyong mga issues magiging problema pala iyon, magiging isyu pala iyon, so saan ka pupunta?

USEC. EGCO: And to give you an idea, sa trip na iyon, natutong kumain ng noodles si Usec. Lorraine, di ba? At nagshe-share-an lang kami dito, mga – you may ask members of the Filipino communities doon, naawa nga sila sa amin eh. Di ba sabi nga nila, actually may isang doctor doon, sabi kakaiba kayo dahil… Well, practically doon na kami halos nakitira sa kaniya, nakikain. So, pero ma-quantify kung magkano ba talaga, pamasahe, kaunting accommodations.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So gaano kamura? Do you have figures kasi para mayroon tayong eksaktong sagot? Kasi puwedeng sabihing what can be mura to you, baka hindi mura sa kanila; or mahal sa inyo, hindi mahal sa kanila.

GEN. PARLADE: Let us just look at it this way: Gumastos ka, sabihin mo nang one million o two million. But in the process but you are able to prevent the funding worth two billion or one billion funding from organizations na napunta doon sa radicalization ng mga bata. Sana iyon na lang ang isipin ng mga bumabatikos.

At sabi nga nila eh, “Bakit ngayon lang kayo nagpunta? Why just now?” Alam mo iyong Filipino communities na nakausap namin, “Sir, ang tagal na naming alam ito. Marami sa amin dito ay member ng ganitong organization, at kami ay nagku-contribute. Hindi namin alam, sir, na ginagamit kami, nagagamit kami.” In-explain namin na these organizations are actually magaganda naman iyong advocacies nila. Ang hindi nila alam iyong party—may party group diyan sa loob ng organization. Ang tawag nila doon underground mass organization within that organization.

So mayroong legal organization, but within that is an underground mass organization. Iyon ang hindi nila alam; iyon ang nagpapatakbo ng lahat, nag-o-orchestrate ng mga activities nila. Kaya nagiging bayolente minsan iyong kanilang mga activities, nawawala sila doon sa kanilang totoong advocacies. But, marami sa kanila ang medyo nagising, at ngayon ay tinatanong nila iyong kanilang mga officials dito sa mga organizations na ito: Ano ba talaga ang sadya natin? Bakit ganito, mayroon kaming naririnig na iyong mga pera na pinapadala sa Pilipinas ay napupunta sa mga ganitong schools – Salugpungan, ALCADEV.

Isa doon sa mga members na nagtanong sa akin actually ay taga-Davao, teacher siya doon. At nagsabi siya, “Sir, ang tagal na namin itong sinabi, na itong Salugpungan schools na ito ay kailangan isara na.” Four years na siya sa Europe, ngayon lang naaksiyunan.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Okay, sige po. Puwedeng pahingi na lang po iyong figures kung mayroon na, paki-release na lang po sa media once they are available para po mayroon tayong figures – exact. Salamat po.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: To clarify: Tuloy pa rin iyong funding ng EU sa mga organizations na ito, since they are asking for more evidence, at least for now? So tuloy pa rin iyong funding nila dito sa mga organizations na ito because from what you have said earlier, sabi nga ni General Parlade, parang they are asking for more documents and pieces of evidence? So for now, tuloy pa rin iyong funding nila, sir?

GEN. PARLADE: Iyong na-release nila, na-release na iyon so inu-audit nila. Iyong hindi pa nila nari-release, hinu-hold muna nila hangga’t kaya nila, kasi naka-program na iyon eh. So it’s actually … ang bola nasa atin para ipakita sa kanila iyong mga documentations na hinihingi nila.

Gusto ko lang i-clarify, ano. I have these lists, I have these lists. Marami ngang umaalma – red tagging, red tagging, red tagging. Lumang kuwento na iyan. Si Joma na nga ang nagsabi na front organization sila, tapos ang kinu-quote nila ay iyong mga AFP na nagsasabi na … hindi. Basahin nila or pakinggan nila iyong statement ni Joma, at si Joma ang nag-tag sa kanila na Red. And by the way, ito iyon. Iyong sulat ni Joma, nandoon iyong mga pangalan ng kanilang mga organizations na member nitong ILPS; at hindi si AFP ang nagsabi nito. Hindi ko nga babanggitin kung ano itong mga ito. Basahin ninyo, at tanungin ninyo si Joma kung totoo ba na pirma niya ito at saka ito iyong mga listahan na ito.

So iyan iyong ano ngayon, kailangan maintindihan ng taumbayan iyong dual revolutionary tactics ng kalaban. Kailangan maintindihan nila iyon na iyan talaga ang paraan ni Joma Sison, nakalutang iyong kanilang legal front organizations pero ang ginagawa nila—I’ll cite ang example – KMU, red tagging sila nang red tagging. Sino ba ang nagsabi na front organization sila? Di ba si Joma Sison.

Okay. Ang KMU po, hindi naman lahat ng members niyan ay komunista or masama – hindi. Mayroon diyan party group sa loob niyan na iyon talaga ang nagpapagulo diyan sa KMU na iyan. Ang dami nating mga kaibigan na KMU member; marami rin sa kanila ang hindi aware na ganoon. Kaya ang nangyari doon sa Davao, nag-away iyong KMU. Noong namulat sila, doon nila naintindihan na ini-exploit sila ng Communist Party of the Philippines; kaya nag-away. Iyong isa, gustong isara iyong factory; iyong isa, gustong buksan. Hindi. Kami ay nagtayo ng union para iyong ating mga benefits, privileges na legitimate naman ay ma-address, hindi para mawalan ng trabaho. Kaya sila nag-away-away. So iyon.

Ini-explain natin sa ating mga kababayan na there’s such a thing called the revolutionary dual tactics. Ang sinasabi nila, democratic organization sila but actually mga bayolenteng organization ito within that organization. Iyon lang ang dapat maintindihan ng mga organization na tinawag ni Joma na mga front organizations. Hindi lahat ng members noon ay mga masasama. Marami sa kanila, majority of them, in fact, nasa 95% nitong mga members nito ay walang kaalam-alam doon sa ginagawa ng limang tao within that organization or within that chapter. Ito iyong nagpapagalaw, ito iyong mga galamay ni Joma Sison, at ito iyong dapat na ma-identify nila.

Ang puwede nilang gawin, actually, pumunta sila sa police, siguro sabihin nila, “Sir, member ako ng ganitong organization. Hindi ko alam na kami ay na-infiltrate na. Willing kaming tapusin na itong insurgency na ito. Tulungan ninyo kami kung papaano.” At sana matulungan din kami or tayo, ang gobyerno, para ma-identify kung sino itong mga infiltrators doon sa organizations na ito na sumisira ng mga magagandang adbokasiya nitong mga organisasyon na ito.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Did you have to explain about the EJKs? I mean, it was mentioned in one of the opening statements earlier. And if so, how did it go?

GEN. PARLADE: Basta sa AFP po ha, for the last five years, zero violation ang AFP. Zero human right violation, torture, disappeared person – wala. Wala na silang makuhang isyu so gumagawa sila ng kuwento. Gusto nilang buhayin iyong mga past records ng AFP na wala naman kaming kamuwang-muwang – 1987 po ako naging sundalo eh, ang pinag-uusapan natin ay martial law years.

USEC. CATURA: I would like to believe that there’s already an appreciation of what we are doing in terms of addressing the anti-illegal drugs problem in the country ‘no—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: I’m sorry, sir, just to clarify my question: EJKs in relation to the drug war because, of course, it’s an issue that’s—

USEC. CATURA: Oo, kasi alam naman natin iyon na during the past administration, hindi mo ini-equate ang EJKs sa drug problem. Noong nagkaroon na lang tayo ng bagong problema under the Duterte administration, noong wala silang makita na EJK under the old definition, isinama, ni-lump nila iyong mga drug-related killings.

It has been a struggle for us to explain that before the international community. However, during the last engagement by the Philippines with the European Union in relation to the EU GSP+, system of preference plus ‘no, kung saan tayo … we are being measured in terms of four areas – human rights, labor rights, environment and climate change – as it relates to how we deal with our trade relations ‘no. Shinift [shifted] na nila ang usapan ng EJKs or anti-illegal drug campaign doon sa governance ‘no. So parang sinasabi nila dito is, “Teka nga muna, let’s take a look at the anti-illegal drug campaign issue as a problem on governance.”

So that (unclear) shifting iyong concern natin with EJK, so nagkaroon sila ng appreciation na, “Teka nga muna, oo nga pala, dapat pala ganitong pananaw ang dapat tingnan natin sa problema ng EJK.”

So dito, we are seeing … ang sabi ko nga, we are seeing an appreciation coming from the global community; and we see it as a very positive development. At least nakakapag-focus tayo. Of course, there are still interested groups who would want to pad the figures, but then again, madali lang naman mai-explain sa kanila at alam na nila ‘no. Kasi alam natin na may lumalabas na 27,000 kuno, but we’re saying na may 5,000 but we already clarified that. And I think that’s well-explained.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: You clarified it and what—do you think you were able to convince them that it’s not an issue that they should be concerned about, the UN, during this trip po, sir?

USEC. CATURA: Alam mo kasi, ganito iyan, a major aspect in human rights ‘no is accountability. If you can be able to explain that government holds itself accountable to its actions, that’s something that is highly appreciated.

Kaya nga isa doon sa mga ginawa ng EU delegation, which unfortunately hindi na ako nakasama, is to explain before the chiefs of mission what are the different accountability and mechanisms of the country in addressing these problems. Kasi it has been part of the series of fora which tried to address the issue on anti-illegal drug campaign. So I would like to believe na na-address iyon—

USEC. EGCO: Part of our contingent are officials of the Philippine National Police and they made a presentation about that when we faced the heads of missions.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: So successful, you’re saying, and you clarified and we’re able to address all their concerns?

USEC. EGCO: There were some questions raised, alam mo iyon, interaction. But at the end of the meeting, satisfied naman sila.

USEC. CATURA: Ang maganda kasi diyan, iyong dialogue and (unclear) something which is, you know, hindi siya tapos. Ibig kong sabihin, iyong sinasabi natin na ‘Ah, hindi kami makikinig sa inyo.’ At least there’s already this large window of openness na kung saan tayo puwedeng pag-usapan iyan. And the gauge in that is also the way that we have seen iyong mga posts dito sa bansa natin na mga Western European countries na nagkakaroon ng—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Usec. Egco used the word “satisfied” naman po doon sa explanation. And I asked this because just recently the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Bachelet, said that the Duterte drug war should not be used as a model by any country. So how then could you say that you were successful or they were satisfied with your explanation if one of their chiefs gave out that statement?

USEC. EGCO: Iyong engagement with the heads of mission, well, let’s treat it separately ano. And the one, iyong latest statement ni Bachelet, it’s being addressed. Right now, it’s being addressed already. But I’d like to assure you that during iyong ano … malaki iyon eh, malaking gathering, iyong mga heads of missions. It was General (unclear) Fidel of the PNP who made the presentation sa mga ganoon. So iba-iba kasi iyong assignment sa amin na—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: If the discussions there—your efforts there might not have been enough, is it safe to assume, because of Ms. Bachelet’s remarks which came after your attendance there?

USEC. EGCO: It would have been different if she was there… or… hindi ba—I mean—

USEC. CATURA: Let’s just say that all efforts are works in progress. Kasi iba rin iyong ano, iba rin iyong sa leadership, iba rin iyong approach doon; at iba rin iyong doon sa general membership. At kung titingnan natin sa general membership—you know, the mere fact that you we’re elected to a fifth term, speaks highly of what we are doing. And of course, we are not a perfect state ‘no. Mayroon talagang … kahit ano naman sinasabi na niya na mayroong mga flaws, but then again, there are success stories na puwedeng i-highlight iyon so mas malawak ang pagtingin.

Kay Madam Bachelet, kaya nga sabi nga namin dito, the mere fact that she has been able to utter that compels us to really push for the information campaign, na dapat makarating sa kaniya. There’s a different dynamics surrounding the President sa Human Rights Council. It’s a totally different approach that we should try to consider later on.

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Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)

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