The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) expressed fears high ranking Rodrigo Duterte government officials are in Europe to hatch terrorist plots and set up assassination groups against Filipino activist groups.
In a statement, the NDFP Information Office in Utrecht, The Netherlands said National Security Council chairperson Hermogenes Esperon and his newly-appointed vice-chairperson Antonio Parlade Jr. in Milan, conducting meetings with former government soldiers and police officers who have resided in Italy.
“This is not the first time that Parlade came to Europe to undertake terrorist activities against progressive forces based in Europe. Last year, the Duterte regime through its NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) traveled to several countries in Europe purportedly to set-up cells of the NTF-ELCAC,” the NDFP said.
The NDFP said these cells are aimed at undertaking surveillance and red-tagging activities against progressive compatriot organizations, foreign solidarity friends and entities, anti-Duterte individuals and personalities, especially open leaders of the NDFP and its peace panel.
Those who will be subjected to surveillance are possibly targets for assassination, the group added.
Independent sources confirmed the two officials were in Milan and have partied with known Rodrigo Duterte supporters among Filipino migrant workers in the Northern Italian city where tens of thousands of Filipinos reside.
Parlade and Esperon’s trip was unannounced in the Philippines. The government’s top security officials have yet to respond to the NDFP’s allegations
Not the first time
The NDFP recalled at least two earlier circumstances when such plots were hatched and launched by the Philippine government against Europe-based revolutionaries and activists.
“Years ago, according to NDFP sources, the NDFP leaders based in Europe got hold of information that an assassination team has been formed in Milan and was ready to travel to the Netherlands to assassinate NDFP leaders,” the group said.
During the Joseph Estrada regime, a member of an assassination team the regime organized and sent to kill NDFP chief political consultant Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, came forward to expose the plan after it failed, and after the Dutch police confirmed the plan’s existence, it added.
The NDFP also alleged a similar plan to assassinate Prof. Sison came to the attention of the NDFP leaders last year and was similarly confirmed by the Dutch police.
The Dutch police Sison to take precautions, it said.
Compatriots, the NDFP member organization for migrant Filipinos, said the Philippine government’s newest attempts to set up death squads in Europe are likely to fail.
“Like earlier attempts of Parlade and Esperon to recruit OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) to the NTF-ELCAC and possibly set-up a death squad or assassination team in Europe, their terrorist and fascist plan is sure to fail and will be foiled by freedom and democracy-loving overseas Filipinos and European friends,” Compatriots said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)