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CALABARZON

Ex-NPA member bares communist fronts harassing industrial sector

by Zen Trinidad 
September 14, 2019

ADDRESSING LABOR UNREST IN ECOZONES. Calamba City Mayor Justin Marc SB Chipeco (center), chair of the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) and City Development Council (CDC), presides over the joint council meeting, where a resolution was passed for the creation of the City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (CTF-ELCAC), to address labor unrest agitated by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) terrorist group’s urban “legal fronts” in economic zones and industrial parks. Joining Chipeco during the joint council meeting at Dinghao Restaurant, Calamba City, Laguna on Sept. 10, 2019 are (L-R) City Councilor Angelito Lazaro, chair of the City Council’s Committee on Appropriation; and City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) head Dennis Lanzanas. (PNA photo by Zen Trinidad)

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – A former member of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), on Tuesday said communist-terrorist rebel fronts are infiltrating union workers and sow unrest in the industrial sector.

Ka Dada, whose name has been withheld for security reasons, is now a member of the government’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). He urged village officials and residents in this city to be watchful of organizers of the legal fronts of the CPP-NPA in their bid “to primarily strengthen the mass movement.”

Ka Dada was a guest resource speaker in the joint meeting of the City Development Council (CDC) and City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) presided over by Mayor Justin Marc SB Chipeco at the Dinghao Restaurant here.

She said the city is among those covered under the CPP-NPA’s special “White Area”, where the communist-terrorist group complements its “Red Area” or the armed operations because of the economic zones that employ a vast number of workers who could be potential recruits or supporters.

“The organizers may not be able to penetrate easily inside the economic zones since they are not employees but they will be present in the villages, live with the workers and organize,” she warned.

She added that the CPP-NPA uses “legal fronts” in promoting urban-based mass movement under their Regional Trade Union Bureau and the White Area Committee.

“We need to protect our workers. We need to unite our locators in our industrial zones, in our economic zones to conduct labor awareness,” she urged.

She said these workers cannot survive a prolonged strike or labor unrest themselves without the support of the legal fronts of the CPP-NPA, which aim to paralyze company operations.

“The industrial workers and economic zone laborers have been vulnerable to recruitment in their struggle that lasted 50 for years now,” she noted.

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The former NPA organizer also assessed that the presence of other organizations in labor unrest has been causing much harm than a solution to the problem raised by legitimate workers.

In steering the joint council meeting, Chipeco endorsed the unanimously approved CDC and CPOC Joint Resolution No. 2019-01 calling for the creation of the City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (CTF-ELCAC) to ensure industrial peace and job security in the city.

Records from the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) showed that Calamba City is home to some nine economic zones and industrial parks where scores of various companies and manufacturing industries are located.

Chipeco said the CTF-ELCAC is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, which mandates the institutionalization of the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace in the country.

The mayor, who chairs both councils with three vice-chairpersons and various clusters headed by the city government department heads and concerned government agencies, also endorsed the joint resolution which created a special committee which would engage the city's legitimate and duly-accredited civil society organizations (CSOs).

He pointed out that in Region 4A (Calabarzon), the issue is not only the armed conflict but the legal organizational network infiltrated by the leftist groups in the labor sector, civil societies, and schools, among others.

“As much as possible I want industrial peace in Calamba,” he said, citing recent labor unrests in a manufacturing company operating in Canlubang Village and in another firm at an adjacent village of a nearby city.

He said he respects the right of employees to a legitimate strike to be resolved by the labor group, management and the proper government agency, but noticed that these agitators, who are neither city residents nor company workers, are joining the rank of the strikers.

“May apoy na, tinataponan pa ng gasolina (It's like adding gasoline to the fire),” Chipeco described, noting that these agitators trigger unrest among the workers.

Chipeco also proposed a thorough review of former Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima’s memorandum, which requires certification from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) when labor unrest erupts.

He said this is to avert a situation, which might deter police action for illegal acts committed by the strikers and put the blame instead on the police for “arbitrary detention.”

He also urged the members of the CDC and CPOC to craft a policy to prevent labor unrests in the industrial firms, based on recent incidents, and enjoined village officials to work closely with the police for proper action in the maintenance of peace and order. (PNA)

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