MANILA – The Filipino community in the United States should remain vigilant amid activities of some organizations a group claimed were allegedly fronting for the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the terrorist New People’s Army (NPA).
During a protest in front of the Philippine Consulate General in New York last July 5, a newly formed group called the Filipino-Americans Against Crime and Terrorism (FACT) raised concerns about what it said was the "expanding CPP-NPA presence in the US".
“We are here this afternoon to voice our concern over the growing presence of the CPP-NPA in the US through its cadres who are slowly penetrating the Filipino-American Community to raise funds and recruit supporters for their terrorist activities in the Philippines,” FACT said in a manifesto circulated during the hour-long protest.
Although designated as a terrorist organization, the CPP-NPA was able to operate in the US through so-called front organizations, but FACT did not identify the groups.
It added that these groups are "being used to undermine the Philippine government and generate funds" through donations.
“These front organizations are involved in organizing the youth, migrant workers, and women and use such issues as human rights, corruption, human trafficking with the aim of generating support for their ultimate objective of a violent communist takeover of the Philippine government,” the group said.
“The Filipino-American community must be warned of these individuals and organizations that support terrorism in the Philippines... They should not lend their support nor donate funds to these individuals and organizations," it added.
FACT said it is not against Filipinos expressing their grievances against the Philippine government in the US, acknowledging that freedom of speech is a constitutionally guaranteed right.
“What we are against is the abuse of such freedom to mislead people into believing their propaganda and eliciting their support towards their so-called armed struggle that has killed thousands in the Philippines, including Americans, in the past 50 years,” the group said.
“We call on the Philippine Embassy and all Philippine Consulates in the United States to take more active measures to inform the Filipino-American Community of the terrorist acts committed by the CPP-NPA in the Philippines and its activities in the US so that we all could be forewarned,” the group added.
The Philippine Embassy in Washington DC has yet to release an official statement about the group's claims and appeal.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PR)