MANILA – A group of Filipino-Americans in New York staged a lighting rally on Sunday evening to urge American authorities to investigate United States-based supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) for terrorist financing, recruitment, and other illegal activities.
Chanting anti-communist slogans and carrying Philippine flags and other banners, members of the Filipino-Americans Against Crime and Terrorism (FACT) marched along Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, Queens, where they distributed leaflets denouncing the CPP-NPA and their supporters in the US on the occasion of the terrorist group’s 53rd founding anniversary.
“US authorities should investigate CPP-NPA leaders, members, and supporters in the US for terrorist financing, recruitment, and other illegal activities given the fact that the Department of State has designated it a terrorist organization as early as 2002,” FACT said in a statement.
“US authorities should impose additional sanctions on the CPP-NPA for crimes committed not just against Filipinos but also against Americans in the past 50 years. For those who are not aware, the CPP-NPA was responsible for the deaths of thousands, including a number of US citizens, among them Vietnam War hero Col. James Rowe and several other American service members on duty in the Philippines,” it added.
FACT is a newly formed Filipino-American grassroots organization based in New York that has been speaking out against the CPP-NPA and its front organizations in the US.
The group questioned the introduction of a bill in the US Congress entitled the Philippine Human Rights Act (PHRA), which seeks to suspend US military assistance to the Philippines because of alleged human rights violations.
The proposed legislation, according to the FACT, would benefit neither the Philippines nor the United States nor the Filipino and American peoples.
“It is unfortunate that supporters of the CPP-NPA here in the US were able to convince American legislators into supporting the PHRA by making them believe the Philippine government is on a rampage and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women, and children,” the group said.
“These groups conveniently failed to mention the horrendous atrocities committed by the CPP-NPA against the Filipino people—civilians accused of various crimes and who were later summarily executed in the name of “revolutionary justice,” it added.
The group called on the members of the Filipino community in the US to let their representatives in Congress know their opposition to the PHRA “because the bill will benefit only those who have vowed to subvert the interests of both the Philippines and the United States and the Filipino and American peoples.”
“Instead of punishing the Filipino people by depriving their government of the security assistance needed to protect them against CPP-NPA atrocities, US authorities should assist Philippine authorities in defeating the communist insurgency the same way they are assisting in the fight against the Abu Sayyaf and other Islamist terrorist groups,” it added.
Instead of suspending military assistance, FACT said the US authorities should provide technical and other assistance to help build the capacity of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in protecting the Filipino people from drug syndicates and other criminal organizations while at the same time helping improve their human rights records.
FACT also urged the members of the Filipino community to be wary of CPP-NPA efforts to deceive them and their families, especially the youth, into supporting their self-serving goal of overthrowing the Philippine government and installing in its place a communist regime.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PR)