Duterte calls Zarate, other party-list groups as "communists"
President Rodrigo Duterte called on Monday Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, his party-list group, and Gabriela as "communists."
In a taped televised message on Monday night, Duterte said he was not red-tagging them but actually identifying them as communists who have no ideology anymore.
He made the statement following the death of Jevilyn Cullamat, youngest daughter of Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, in an encounter between the military and the communist New People's Army in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur last Sunday.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines said Cullamat, alias "Ka Reb," 22, was an NPA member.
"These 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 you have organized headed by NDF (National Democratic Front), with New People's Army, NDF and Communist Party of the Philippines," he said.
"They are accusing red tagging you. No, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is very correct. You are being identified as the members of the communist. We know that. That is the truth. Not red tagging. Zarate, all of you...you know what Zarate whenever I see you on TV, as if I see a dog poop," he added.
He said the communists have no ideology anymore as they only want to oust the government.
Duterte also advised the "lumads (indigenous people)" in Mindanao to return to their homes and not to allow themselves to be "fooled" by the NPA rebels.
He said many lumads have already died.
"So, if these things go on, lumad can become an extinct tribe. If you won't stop, you will forever be wanted...see (what happened) to Cullamat, it's her daughter (who was killed)...you let a woman fight the soldiers, for sure she'd be dead," the President added.
Rep. Cullamat, who belongs to the Manobo tribe, acknowledged that her daughter was a member of the revolutionary movement.
But she has said that she was not surprised why her daughter joined the NPA, citing the violence that the IP like them experiences in the hands of the "abusive" AFP and its paramilitary groups. Celerina Monte/DMS