PNP urges ACT to 'dissociate from CPP-NPA'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 10) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday called on the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) to cut its supposed ties with the communist group.

This, as the PNP maintained that the teachers group is a front organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People's Army (NPA).

"Ito ngayon ay isang challenge ko sa (to) ACT sa pamumuno ni Benjie Valbuena na (This is my challenge to ACT under the leadership of Benjie Valbuena) I think, in public, si Mr. Valbuena should start dissociating the ACT from the CPP-NPA that recently si Joma (Jose Maria) Sison nagsabi sya na (he said that) to oust Duterte that's the priority of the CPP-NPA," PNP Spokesperson Benigno Duran Jr. said in an interview on CNN Philippines' On The Record.

He was addressing Valbuena, ACT's secretary general, who was also on the show.

"Probably you should start dissociating yourself dahil sinabi mismo ni Joma (because Joma said himself), [and] at the same time you should also denounce the infiltration, manipulation and the use of our Filipino educators in furtherance of the revolutionary struggles of the enemies of the state," Duran added.

The spokesperson was citing a video uploaded on YouTube showing a much younger Sison talking about the structure of the CPP, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and "legal democratic forces in the Philippines," which include ACT, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Gabriela, and the League of Filipino Students.

Valbuena responded to Durana's request, saying doing so is "difficult."

"Mahirap 'yung sinasabi ni Superintendent. Unang una wala namang masamang ginagawa si Joma sa amin at 'yung CPP eh," he said.

[Translation: That's hard to do because Joma and the CPP are not doing any harm to us.]

Valbuena said the video should be seen by the public to settle confusions on Sison's address.

"Dapat siguro makita talaga ng publiko 'yung video.. 30 years ago 'yung video na 'yun. Kung mapapanood natin yun nang walang distortion, malinaw eh magkaiba 'yung revolutionary forces dun sa legal democratic front," he said.

[Translation: The public should really see the video. That was posted 30 years ago. If you watch it without any distortions, it's clear that the revolutionary forces is different from legal democratic front.]

The dispute between the PNP and ACT stemmed from the latter's complaint of harassment over profiling of its members across the country.

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Interior Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya earlier told CNN Philippines that the police are indeed monitoring ACT members for alleged links to the CPP. Malaya added the surveillance of the party-list group will continue for this reason.

READ: DILG: Joma said ACT a communist front organization