The Philippines has for decades now pursued long, real, and lasting peace in the face of communist and separatist insurgencies. Peace negotiations and armed conflicts are some tools the government employs to manage and subdue the growing threats of terrorism in the country.
However, terrorists don’t just attack Philippine society with arms or with propaganda – they also try to infiltrate the government itself. The New People’s Army, a communist terrorist organization, has exploited the partylist system by funding political groups that act as fronts for their agenda. By getting themselves nominated to positions of power, these terrorists and criminals may attack the government from within. A total of 23 partylists were recently exposed for their involvement with the NPA, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The complete list of partylists being montitored by the AFP is:
- Bayan Munda
- Anak Bayan
- Anak Pawis
- League of Filipino Students (LFS)
- Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)
- Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
- Partido Manggagawa (PM)
- Aksiyon Health Workers
- People’s Surge
- Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP)
Included in the list are the entire Makabayan bloc of partylists – Bayan Muna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, and Migrante. These same groups were already flagged by the AFP in 2007 for their left-wing connections.
Then-chief of Eastmincom, L. Gen Rodolfo Obaniana said of the Macabayan bloc that “these so-called regressive political organizations are obvious fronts of the NPA”
These Red partylist groups have previously been criticized as being the “milking cow of terrorists”. Davao Mayor Sara Duterte in 2018 put it bluntly – they are militant groups that masquerade as pro-people. However, they only want to “sow hostility and chaos”, not help the country.
Terrorism is a crime against the Filipino people and their right to peace. Our countrymen who live in conflict areas are under the constant shadow of fear thanks to these insurgencies. For Red-backed and Red-controlled partylists to run for a seat in Congress and ask citizens to vote for them is not only appalling, it’s outrageous.
While the freedom to explore ideologies and political systems beyond what is currently practiced in the Philippines is the right of a citizen, to take a step further and demand through blood and violence that change must be affected is nothing but an act of terrorism. Crimes for the sake of beliefs are still crimes and these militant partylists deserve no place in Congress.