After Manila Mayor Isko Moreno ordered the removal of tarpaulins in the city declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA-NDF) as persona non grata, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said there was nothing wrong posting such materials denouncing the communist group.
May directive na po ako sa DPS na tanggalin ang mga tarpaulin na to. di po natin kailangan ang mga ito sa gitna ng pandemya. dapat magkaisa po tayong mga Pilipino.
— Isko Moreno Domagoso (@IskoMoreno) October 22, 2020
“The expressions of sentiment against CPP-NPA-NDF atrocities are free speech and are legally protected under the Constitution,” said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año in a statement.
“Remember, these are the terrorists’ groups driven by an archaic ideology who have been killing our police and soldiers and extorting from innocent civilians for the past 50 years. It is just right that people denounce them for their crimes against the people.”
Año further explained that only members of the CPP-NPA-NDF should be concerned about these posters.
The DILG did not mention Moreno, however, Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), a government anti-communist task force created and chaired by President Duterte, expressed his disappointment over Moreno.
“Why would Manila order the removal of these tarps? Is Mayor Isko welcoming this terrorist? Let’s clarify from Yorme the basis for his action. Is it fear of retribution? It’s about time we hear it from Yorme Isko. Will he now declare the NTF-ELCAC persona non grata in Manila instead?” fumed Parlade.
The said poster was seen hanging on the railings of a footbridge near the US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard.
Año said that the said posters were “expressions of citizens or certain groups that they are fed up with abuses and atrocities perpetrated by the CPP-NPA-NDF” and the department welcomes such expressions.
The NTC-ELCAC rejected the allegation that the material came from them, but it supported “this message of a people united in their disgust and rage against this communist terrorist group.”
Año advised all LGUs and other organizations to create their own anti- communist posters and billboards “to send a strong message that their terrorism and criminal acts are not tolerated by the people.” RJ Espartinez