'We are identifying you as communists': Duterte blasts Makabayan bloc lawmakers

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2020 10:25 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks with Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate during a meeting with the leaders of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan at the President's Hall in Malacañan Palace on July 18, 2017. Robinson Niñal, Malacanang Photo/file

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said his administration is not red-baiting progressive lawmakers, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines is directly identifying them as communists.

"Itong mga legal fronts ng komunista, lahat 'yan, Makabayan, Bayan, they are all legal fronts, Gabriela... (All the legal fronts of the communists, all of them, Makabayan, Bayan, they are all legal fronts, Gabriela.) We are not red-tagging you. We are identifying you as members in a grand conspiracy comprising all the legal fronts that they have organized, headed by the NDF," Duterte said during his weekly public address.

"Ilang tao na na galing doon sa inyong kampo, openly have attacked you, not only criticized, for your sheer brutality in this communal war," he added.

Duterte claimed communist rebels do not follow any ideology anymore, as they only want to overthrow the government.

"Communal war ito, there is no longer an ideology. Komunista ito, wala nang ideology...Gusto lang nila umagaw ng gobyerno. Mga bobo naman ang p*t*ng*n*. Sinong bright, si Sison? Iharap mo sa akin magdebate kami. Anong nakuha mo diyan sa ideology na communism?" he said.

(Communal war, there is no longer an ideology. These communists, they do not have an ideology anymore. They just want to overthrow the government. These stupid sons of a b*tch. Who's bright, (Jose Maria) Sison? Show him to me and let's have a debate. What will you get from communism?)

"You are accusing us of red-tagging you. No. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is very correct. You are being identified as being members of the Communist (Party of the Philippines). Alam namin. 'Yun ang totoo. Hindi red-tagging. (We know. That's the truth. That is not red-tagging)," Duterte said.

Duterte likewise singled out Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate.

"Alam mo, sasabihin ko. Nangangailangan ka ng pera. That's the only reason. Komunista ka to defend an oligarch. Di ka naman summa cum laude, pareho naman tayong pumasa ng Bar. Kung magsalita ka, you make it appear that we are milking the government," he alleged.

(You know, I'll tell you this. You need money. That's the only reason. You are a communist to defend an oligarch. You are not a summa cum laude, we both passed the Bar exam. But when you talk, you make it appear that we are milking the government.)

Duterte went on to personally attack Zarate, even saying that the latter looks like dog poop.

"Alam mo sa totoo, Zarate, kapag nakita kita sa TV, para akong nakakita ng t** ng iro (dog). Para akong nakakita ng t** ng aso, sa totoo lang," he said.

(You know what, Zarate, when I see you on TV, it's like I'm looking at dog poop. It's like I'm looking at dog poop, to be honest.)

Zarate and members of the Makabayan bloc in the lower House have yet to respond to Duterte's allegations, as of posting.

In the same briefing, Duterte also accused progressive lawmakers of conspiring with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People's Army (NPA).

"Again I would just like to say something about. May I repeat, for the nth time. We are not tagging you, we are identifying you as Communists. It's a grand conspiracy, so the liability of a mere soldier is the liability of all members of the organizations, 'yung mga front," he said.

"You are co-conspirators. Komunista ka. Matagal na. Alam ko kasi alam ko. Mayor ako ng Davao noon, nagkikita kita tayo," Duterte added, referring once again to Zarate, who also hails from Davao City.

(You are co-conspirators. You are a communist. I know that a long time ago. I was a mayor of Davao, we've seen each other."
Progressive House lawmakers have categorically denied that they are members of the CPP-NPA but refused to condemn the atrocities committed by communist rebels in different parts of the country.

The government's camp, however, insists it has solid evidence linking the lower chamber's Makabayan bloc to the communist movement. 

'NILOLOKO NG NPA'

Reacting to news on the death of the daughter of Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat in a military encounter with the NPA, Duterte told the Lumad to leave the NPA and go back to their land.

"Ang kawawa nito itong mga pobreng taga bukid na madadala ninyo, and I think 75 percent, at least in Mindanao, mga Lumad. Kayong mga Lumad, umuwi kayo, sabihin ninyo sa mga tao ninyo, niloloko na lang sila. Niloloko ng mga NPA talaga, totoo 'yan," he said.

(What's sad is that they recruit these people from the countryside, and I think 75 percent, at least in Mindanao, are Lumad. You, Lumad, go back to your home and tell you people that they are being fooled by the NPA.)

"Maraming namatay mga Lumad. So if this thing goes on, the Lumad, 'yung native na Filipino, talaga, will become an extinct tribe," Duterte added.

(There are a lot of Lumad who have died. So if this thing goes on, the Lumad, the indigenous Filipino, will become an extinct tribe.)

Duterte also had harsh words on Cullamat's daughter, Jevilyn.

"Tingnan mo 'yung kay Cullamat. Anak niya mismo, babae pa. Sigurado patay 'yan. Babae, ilaban mo sa sundalo, patay sigurado," he said.

(Look at what happened to Cullamat. She's her child, a woman. She'll surely be dead. She's a woman, she'll surely die if she fights against the military.)

"Kayong mga Filipino na dreamers, you dream of a country, gusto ninyo utopia. It's not possible here. You have to realize that," Duterte added.

(You Filipinos who are dreamers, you dream of a country, you want utopia. It's not possible here. You have to realize that.)

Cullamat on Sunday confirmed her daughter was killed in an encounter between the military and the NPA in Barangay San Isidro, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur Saturday.

Jevilyn served as a medic of the NPA and her identity was confirmed by former rebels, the military said.

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