Former Senator Ping Lacson on Friday opposed the recent pronouncement of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda that the CPP-NPA-NDF is not an enemy of the state.
“Senator Legarda is a friend and I respect her opinion but I cannot for the life of me agree with her stand, apparently articulated by her statement that the CPP-NPA-NDF is not an enemy of the state,” Lacson said.
“Simply put, an armed terrorist group — already designated not only by the government of the Republic of the Philippines but also by the European Union, the United States of America and four other countries (Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand) — is unequivocally an enemy of the state,” he added.
The statement came after Legarda during Tuesday’s Senate plenary session said there is nothing wrong with having different ideologies that are not in line with the ideologies of the majority.
“I simply want to state, Mr. President that believing in an ideology which may be different from the majority, in layman’s terms, believing in policies and philosophies that may be left of center, so to speak, does not make anyone subversive,” she said.
She added, “I stand here as someone who has worked with the so-called left… and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
This was her response to the privilege speech of Sen. Francis Tolentino, who urged government officials, especially those who have higher positions, to disclose if they have relatives who are members of government-tagged terror groups, such as the Abu Sayyaf and the CPP-NPA.
Legarda also vowed to push for the review of the Anti-Terrorism Act and urged the government to revive peace talks with the communist rebels.
‘Amending ATC is disrespecting victims of rebel armed groups’
Lacson, who authored and sponsored the Republic Act 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, also expressed his opposition to the possible amendment of the measure.
“Any attempt to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act is a disrespect to our comrades-in-arms as well as the countless civilians who fell victims to the atrocities of this terrorist group that has lost its ideological principles over the years — they murder, they rob, they extort, they harass and intimidate and worse, indiscriminately,” he said.
He added “Having authored and sponsored and almost single-handedly defended the legislative measure in the Senate plenary, as well as in the battle for public opinion in many fora including the media, I will not hesitate to be part of the opposition to thwart moves to amend this law in its substantive form which no less than the Supreme Court has declared as constitutional.”
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