Red link tag on NUJP not 'orchestrated': ex-rebels

MANILA -- A group of former communist group members on Tuesday denied that their "revelations" against the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) being linked with the Left is part of an orchestrated or “well-planned” operation to intimidate the latter into silence.

"Ang gusto po namin ay malinaw na sagot kung totoo bang legal front ng CPP-NPA-NDF ang NUJP (We just want to know the clear answer if the NUJP is a legal front of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front)," Kilusan at Alyansa ng mga Dating Rebelde (KADRE) said in a statement.

The group said the “hardcore elements” in the NUJP made sure to block the release of their stories and their “freedom to expose the truth.”

KADRE is said to be a group composed of more than 300 former members of the CPP-NPA nationwide.

Several Manila-based newspapers on Monday published the revelations of a certain Ka Ernesto of KADRE against the union of journalists.

Ka Ernesto, who is reportedly a former member and organizer of the NUJP, claimed that the union is connected with CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, adding that the group's operations are run by communists.

In the statement, Ka Ernesto and KADRE spokesperson "Ka Isko" stressed that it is not the reports’s intention to put NUJP members at risk.

He said the group only wants to guide the masses by showing the truth on the wrong direction and beliefs of the communist movement.

Hindi ito ang dating Partido na pinagalayan namin ng buhay at panahon (This is not the same group to which we offered our lives and time),” he said.

It is clear, he added, that it is all terrorism and deception that the communist group has been pursuing for the past 50 years.

The group called on members of the association to “examine the truth” that NUJP seeks to find, as it always claims to assert the freedom of the press.

"Dapat din siguro na tingnan mabuti ng mga ordinaryong miyembro nito (NUJP) kung katotohanan nga ba ang tinatahak ng kanilang pamunuan o baka naman may iba silang political agenda na pabagsakin ang gobyerno at estado at iluklok ang isang marahas na lipunan (NUJP ordinary members should clearly examine the group's objectives or if there is some kind of political agenda to bring down the government and establish a chaotic society)," the statement added.

Ka Ernesto, who claimed to have been a “longtime member” of the CPP, said he is a witness to the conversation between one “RSV” (NUJP political officer) and a certain “JMS” on Facebook Messenger and other social media private messaging apps.

According to newspaper reports, Ka Ernesto said he started out as a youth organizer for the College Editors Guild of the Philippines and became editor-in-chief of a college paper of a known university in Metro Manila.

He also claimed to be a pioneer of the journalists’ association, and had been active in recruiting laborers to create union organizations in various newspaper agencies.

He added that he can attest to the fact that the operations and leanings of NUJP are being manipulated by the communist group.

The NUJP earlier rejected a previous accusation that it is a legal front of the CPP-NPA. (PNA)