By Junex Doronio
June 23, 2022
MANILA — Citing disinformation that usually affects the youth as one of the reasons, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday defended the government’s move to block over 20 websites suspected to have links with the Maoist-oriented Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which has been waging its protracted armed struggle for more than 53 years now.
At the same time, Lorenzana stressed that the move is not against freedom of expression following the blocking of 20 websites allegedly linked with the CPP, which was founded by 83-year-old Jose Ma. “Joma” Sison, who has been in self-exile in The Netherlands for 35 long years.
“They (youth) are so gullible and susceptible to propaganda and disinformation,” he pointed out.
The outgoing defense chief said he agreed with President Rodrigo Duterte’s security adviser Hermogenes Esperon who requested the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to block the sites.
With the blocking of the websites, Lorenzana said he believes youth recruitment to the underground communist movement would be reduced, if not prevented.
“We are not against free speech. In fact, we encourage and protect it. It is disinformation against the government that we are against,” he further emphasized.
Sison has been living in The Netherlands since 1987 after he was released from detention by the Cory Aquino administration.
Former Senator Jovito Salonga accused Sison of masterminding the August 21, 1971, Plaza Miranda bombing during the Liberal Party (LP) convention at the Plaza Miranda in Manila to force then-President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and sign Proclamation No. 1081, placing the entire Philippines under martial law.
Salonga himself narrowly escaped death but LP Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was conspicuously absent during the carnage.
Former CPP members such as Victor Corpus, then a young lieutenant who defected to the NPA, and many others, divulged to Salonga the “truth behind” the tragic Plaza Miranda bombing. (ai/mtvn)