AFP is stupid in saying NDFP support for Morong 43 proves NPA membership — CPP

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for claiming that the very support of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) for the fight for freedom of the Morong 43 detainees proves that the latter are members of the New People's Army (NPA).

"This claim voiced by the spokesperson of the Philippine Army is outrightly stupid and ludicrous," said the CPP. "If we follow his idiotic logic, then Ninoy Aquino, the father of their current Commander-in-Chief, should also be called a communist because his demand for freedom under the Marcos dictatorship was supported by the NDFP and the revolutionary forces."

"The Army spokesperson might as well tag Cory Aquino as well as innumerable others as communists because they cooperated with the CPP, the NDFP and the revolutionary forces in the struggle against the Marcos fascist dictatorship. Cory even freed hundreds of cadres and members of the CPP, NDFP and NPA right after the fascist dictatorship was finally overthrown," pointed out the CPP.

The Morong 43 are health workers who were arrested in February 6 this year at a resort in Morong, Rizal by government soldiers belonging to the AFP's 2nd Infantry Division. The health workers were undergoing training in community health work when they were arrested.

The AFP claimed, however, that the arrested health workers are NPA members who were then undergoing training in bomb-making, and even crudely planted "evidence" to substantiate the claim. "The AFP has now resorted to such stupid public statements knowing full well that their evidence will not stand in court."

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III admitted a few weeks ago that the arrest warrant served by the soldiers was indeed defective and the legal basis for the arrest and detention was untenable, as pointed out by his Justice Secretary and many others. To date, however, he has not lifted a finger to cause the release of the detainees.

"The CPP and revolutionary forces support the democratic rights of the people against abuses and injustice committed by the AFP and other reactionaries, whether or not the victims are members of the CPP, NDFP, or NPA," said the CPP. Many other organizations in the country and abroad have been openly supporting the call for the release of the Morong 43.

The CPP reiterated that the call to release the Morong 43 "is not at all a precondition for the resumption of formal peace talks. It is, however, an unconditional demand to put an end to continuing injustice, and in particular to the injustice being hoisted on the detainees."

"The call for the release of the Morong 43 has been echoed the world over by those interested in the redress of injustice against the victims as well as by those who favor the forthcoming peace talks. By releasing the Morong 43, as well as the more than 400 other political detainees, the Aquino government is challenged to show that it upholds the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL)," said the CPP.

"On the other hand, if the Aquino government continues to detain the Morong 43, it will no doubt remain a thorn on the side of the peace process, and would cast doubts about the Aquino government's determination to uphold past as well as any future agreement in the peace talks," said the CPP.

"The Aquino goverment will further show itself to be hard-hearted and cruel if it ignores the ongoing hunger strike of the Morong 43 detainees and lets them suffer, get sick and risk their lives in their fight for justice and freedom," added the CPP.

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