FOUR top rebels confirmed on Monday that the Makabayan Bloc or “KABAG” (Kabataan, Anakbayan, Bayan Muna, ACT, Gabriela) lawmakers are also officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Former CPP official Jeffrey Celis alias “Ka Eric” identified the lawmakers as Neri Colmenares, Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza and Teddy Casino, of the Makabayan Bloc.
In a virtual press briefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Celis said the four congressmen are allegedly real operatives of the CPP-NPA-NDF who have personal knowledge of the ground and its movements.
The four lawmakers, he added, frequently met with the KABAG lawmakers during the regional committee meetings of the communist groups.
“We can look them directly to their eyes,” said Celiz, referring to the KABAG lawmakers.
According to Celis, the Reds have three levels of meetings — L1, L2 and L3. L1 refers to open meetings which have in attendance the so-called masses while L2 is an underground meetings and L3 is a party meeting.
Celiz said in all those meetings, he met all the lawmakers he mentioned.
“Kapag may mga kampanya na (national elections), hindi po totoo na ang mga nag-uusap diyan ay mga simpleng members ng mga party-list na ito. Ang mga nakikipag-usap sa kanila ay may basbas ng Regional Party Committee ng CPP,” said the former member of the Kabataan Makabayan.
Celiz added that the party-list representations are very important to the Communist Terror Groups (CTGs) as they will work hand in hand with the armed struggle of the communist movement in the mountains and even urban operations.
He said the scheme is called “Urban Operations” and “Bureaucratic Infiltration” or white area.
Alma Gabin, the former Education Deputy Secretary of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee and a founding member of the Kabataan Partylist, said her stint at the CPP-NPA-NDF even made her as a nominee of the leftist youth group in 2010, rubbing elbows with top officials like trade union leader Dennis Velasco and Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago.
Gabin said the same person who recruited her in her college days is the same person who took her to an oath-taking not as a Kabataan Party member but as a CPP-NPA-NDF member.
“This is not red-tagging,” the former rebel said. “KABAG is directed to the mission of the CPP-NPA-NDF which is to topple the government.”
Ariane Jane Ramos, who recently surrendered and former secretary of Guerilla Front 55, Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), and ex-chairperson of Gabriela Youth of University of the Philippines in Mindanao, said she has a short-lived “urban operations” experience, as she joined the armed struggle as an NPA fighter.
Ramos named her mentors as Rendell Ryan Edpan Cagula and Eric Jun Casilao, currently the secretary of the SMRC and the brother of former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Baring Casilao.
Ramos said the urban operations are their way to spread propaganda and formed the party-list as legal fronts while recruiting more militant students.
Ramos added that the urban and armed struggles are inter-connected as both serve the interest of the CPP-NPA-NDF to topple the government and placed it under a communist state.
“May representation (ang party-list) sa loob (CPP). Malaki ang sakripisyo namin kung paano sila gumalaw sa CPP-NPA-NDF, legal fronts, armed struggle,” she said.
For her part, Joy Saguino aka Ka Amihan, the former Secretary of Guerilla Front 20, Sub-Regional Committee 1, SMRC and a former youth and student organizer of Anakbayan and Kabataan Party-list, said the Makabayan Bloc or the legislative counterparts of the CPP-NPA-NDF are there to cover-up the urban and rural operations, such as the communist-linked schools — Salugpungan, Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) and others.