'Duterte attack dog': CPP hits Lacson for claims on arrested activists

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2022 06:44 PM

Presidential candidate, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson addresses the crowd during a town hall meeting at the Barangay Baclaran Hall in Parañaque City on March 10, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Presidential candidate, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson addresses the crowd during a town hall meeting at the Barangay Baclaran Hall in Parañaque City on March 10, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Communist Party of the Philippines condemned the alleged red tagging by presidential candidate Sen. Panfilo Lacson towards supporters of fellow candidate Leni Robredo.

CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena said Lacson, a former police chief and the principal sponsor of the controversial "Anti-Terror Law" in the Senate, is using his campaign to serve as President Rodrigo Duterte's "attack dog" against Robredo's camp, adding that Duterte's plans of "creating a political chaos" over the Vice President's campaign trail was still imminent. 

"Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s red-tagging against the camp of presidential candidate Leni Robredo is serving the tyrant Duterte’s scenario-building to justify the possibility of imposing martial law as a last resort option to secure power," Valbuena said in a statement Friday. 

Duterte has made pronouncements against CPP and the New People's Army in the past. 

A congressman earlier claimed that the New People's Army infiltrated Robredo's campaign in Cavite, which Valbuena described as a move to "sow fear" among Robredo's campaigners and supporters. In response to the congressman's claims, Lacson said the links were "worrisome" and would "set back the gains of the government’s efforts to end the country’s decades-old insurgency problem." 

Since then, Lacson has denied red-tagging anyone. But a few days later, peasant organizers in Cavite were reported to have been arrested, which Lacson in a statement described as "propaganda" by communist fronts. 

"May naaresto pero drug operation ito sa Bacoor. Ang nag-operate, PDEA, anti-illegal drugs operation," Lacson claimed in a radio interview as quoted by a statement issued by his camp. 

Lacson further said alerts issued by activist groups "tried to make it appear that they were arrested because he had red-tagged them for attending Robredo's campaign rally in Cavite earlier this month." 

Lacson then denied his engagement with red-tagging, claiming that he is only warning people over forging ties with groups allegedly linked to communist fronts, reiterating that he has sources for his claims, which the CPP rejected. 

"Lacson claims of possessing “intelligence information” but can only cite the participation of national democratic organizations and parties in Robredo rallies as basis for his declared “fears” that a Robredo victory will lead to a “coalition with the communists.," Valbuena said.