MANILA — Netizens called out Filipino-American protesters for heckling indigenous people’s (IP) leaders who were appealing to the Filipino community to help disseminate the truth about the deception of communist terrorist organizations in the Philippines, in a forum in San Francisco, California on July 10.
“Kawawa ang mga IPs. Mga Pilipinong iba ang modelo at ideolohiya ang mismong lumapastangan sa kanila (It’s a sad thing for the IPs. They were harassed by Filipinos themselves who had different ideologies),” netizen Lito Famindalan said in a comment.
Meanwhile, Morrine Sarco lashed out at protesters “who grew up in America but did not experience the struggles of the IPs in their own communities.”
“Namatayan yung mga IPs tapos kung makasigaw yang mga yan ganun na lang. Nakatapak na ba yan sa mga kabundukan dito kung saan nagtatago ang mga NPA? Walang respeto. Nakakahiya (Some IPs lost loved ones yet the protesters are shouting at them like that. Did they already visit the hinterlands where members of the NPA hide? They didn’t respect them, it’s embarrassing),” Sarco said.
Tribal leaders were speaking in the forum about their struggle in the hands of communist insurgents when a young Fil-Am stood up and chanted in American accent, “Stop spreading lies,” temporarily disrupting the gathering.
Bae Christine Banugan was quick to rebut the Fil-Am “intruder,” saying she herself has been a witness of the atrocities committed by the New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The protester was no longer around, though, to listen to Banugan’s emotional outbursts as she and a few companions were immediately ushered out of the assembly venue.
Banugan, whose father and uncle were killed by members of the NPA, said her family has been receiving threats in the past days from the rebel group for voicing out the attacks committed by the CPP-NPA against IP communities.
Netizens lamented that the IP communities have long been used by the CPP-NPA in their guerrilla warfare, saying remoteness from the center of development makes them potential recruits in the armed movement.
“Kapag nakuha na ng NPA ang isang IP para sumapi sa kanila at kapag napatay sa bakbakan ay sisigaw ang mga rebeldeng yan na magsasaka ang pinapatay ng mga sundalo (When IPs are recruited and are killed in the battle by government forces, the rebels would say that military troops are killing farmers),” Glenn Christian Reformina Cuarez said.
IP communities, he said, are easily exploited and radicalized because of their ignorance and illiteracy.
Netizen Pangsiw Barinay, meanwhile, said stepping up awareness campaigns is crucial so the public would be able to reject the fake narratives presented by communist rebels.
“Kailangan talaga mapalawak pa ang awareness sa publiko lalo na sa mga kabataan nang di sila mahikayat sa mapanlinlang na salita at kasinungalingan ng mga teroristang mga yan (Awareness campaigns should be amplified especially among the youth so they won’t be deceived by the words of communist terrorists),” Barinay said.
The tribal leaders are travelling across the United States to call on the US government, United Nations, and various international organizations to help get rid of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. ROM/PNA – northboundasia.com