By Angel De Mesa
LEGAZPI CITY – National Democratic Front of Bicol hits President Rodrigo Duterte in its accusation that transport group PISTON are just legal fronts of the CPP-NPA and are committing rebellion along with other progressive groups.
“We condemn his claims because essentially this is a form of red-tagging and it makes legal organizations vulnerable to harassment and pursuits done by AFP, PNP and CAFGU,” said Ma. Roja Banua, spokesperson of NDF Bicol.
Duterte visited Pili, Camarines Sur yesterday for the federalism summit and PDP-Laban oath taking in the province. He took the opportunity to share his sentiments about the transport sector and the concluded 2-day nationwide transport strike against the PUV modernization program.
“Mahirap kayo? Magtiis kayo sa hirap at gutom……Sumunod kayo, because on January 1, kapag may nakita ako dyan na jeep nyo na luma, guguyurin ko yan sa harap nyo,” said Duterte insisting the decision of the government in implementing the PUV modernization program.
He even blasted PISTON, saying “they are just the legal fronts of the CPP-NPA, it is a big conspiracy. They are, all of them, committing rebellion.”
These statements were not anymore new to NDF Bicol saying that on government standard, whoever expresses denunciation or contrast to their ideas is being called a terrorist or a communist and part of the plan in destabilizing the government.
“The truth is, the true objective of his visit here in the region was to consolidate his forces and to assure the support from his avid followers,” Banua said.
Banua said that it is not the applause that will welcome Duterte but the intensifying protest of the Bicolanos raging against his fascism. “One thing is sure, the people will not let him miss his crimes. The time will come when the people will let him pay,” she added.
NDF Bicol even tagged Duterte as number one recruiter of the underground movement just like his idol Marcos. “He was not mistaken in saying that there are many NPAs in Bicol. The rottenness of his government has pushed the masses to hold arms,” Banua said.
On the previous statement of PISTON, they have already stated that drivers and small operators can not afford to buy any single newly proposed jeepneys which cost 1.4 to 1.6 million, even if there would be an 80,000 thousand pesos subsidy.
The transport group also expresses strong opposition to the modernization program due to its negative effect to the livelihood of the drivers and small operators since it will paves way to the phaseout of old jeepneys.
The Congress invited PISTON on a special hearing of the House Committee on Transportation on tomorrow, October 19, in Batasan at 9:30 A.M. This is for the congress to know the grievances of those who joined the 2-day transport strike. (BaretangBikolnon.com)