MANILA – National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Director-General Alex Paul Monteagudo on Thursday claimed they are merely telling the truth when they said that the union of Senate employees is being controlled by front organizations of communist terrorists.
Monteagudo was referring to the “Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong Organisasyon” (SENADO) that he earlier claimed to be controlled by the labor group, Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE).
In an interview over DZAR, Monteagudo dismissed claims that what he did was red-tagging, adding that they merely told the public that SENADO is affiliated with COURAGE that is a “front organization” – a front-organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF)..
He added that this cannot be red-tagging as they merely told the truth about the ties of these two organizations.
Monteagudo said coming out with such information is part of their mandate so the public will know of organizations with links to the communist terrorists “hiding in plain sight”.
He said not all members of SENADO are likely supporters of the CPP-NPA but added that COURAGE might provide the CPP-NPA access to SENADO, and influence its members through lectures and indoctrination.
“That’s the danger because they have access to confidential information in the Senate,” he added.
“Ang Senado madalas mag-hold ng executive committee briefings at hearings, may classified information na hawak. Nagkakaroon sila ng access dito kaya malaking bagay ang meron silang empleyado na sumusuporta sa CPP-NPA within the Senate (The Senate often holds executive committee briefings and hearings, and these have classified information. They will have access to those so that it is important for them to have some employees supporting the CPP-NPA within the Senate),” Monteagudo said.
He added that access to the confidential information would allow the CPP-NPA-NDF to mobilize its other front organizations to preempt the government’s programs.
“Bakit nang nag-declare si Pangulong Duterte na libre ang tuition sa state universities, wala tayong narinig na nagpasalamat ang estudyante ng UP? (Why is it that when President Duterte declared that tuition n all state universities will be waived, we did not hear any word of gratitude from UP students),” he said.
Members of SENADO, he added, face the danger of exploitation.
He said other employees’ associations in government can take a cue from their counterparts in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
DSWD employees’ association, he said, disassociated itself from COURAGE after realizing its members were being exploited.
“Marami pang mga front organisasyon na maaring affiliated sa COURAGE. Hindi nila alam ito ay communist-terrorist front organization. Maganda ang kanilang intention sumali sa una para magtulungan ang employees association. Kaya ngayon inilalabas natin ngayon para mamulat ang ating empleyado. Ang empleyado sweldo ng mamamayan, they work for the people, they pledge allegiance to our Constitution (There are a lot of front-organizations that might be affiliated. They might not know that these are communist-terrorist front organizations. They might have good intentions when they first joined to help these employees’ organizations. (Government) employees are being paid by the people, they work for the people, and they pledge allegiance to our Constitution),” Monteagudo said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terror group by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
“Ang problema kung party member ka ng CPP, ang allegiance mapunta sa CPP lalo kung indoctrinated at radicalized ka na. Gagamitin ang tao sa association. Yan ang kailangan malaman ng kawani ng gobyerno. Di lang sa SENADO, kundi sa lahat na isang bagay na ina-address ng DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government] (The problem is if you are a member of the CPP, your allegiance goes to the CPP especially when you are already indoctrinated and radicalized. They will use the people in the association. That’s what government employees need to know. Not only those in SENADO, but all employees associations and other matters addressed by the DILG),” he added.
Monteagudo said he is hopeful Senate President Vicente Sotto III will be fair in addressing the concerns he raised about the employees’ association of the Senate.
“We believe the Senate President will be fair in addressing these concerns,” he added. (PNA)