EDITOR'S NOTE: Facebook status posted by Michael Tan Defensor has taken the social media by storm. As of press time, his status made on May 16 has now been shared for nearly 2,000 times with over 3, 100 likes. Defensor took a stand on the issue and told people there is nothing to be afraid of with the CPP entering the cabinet. He explained that they are also like ordinary individuals. Moreover, he pointed out how the opportunity can bridge the gap between two contrasting ideologies. Here is the status as published in Santiago's personal page.
Duterte and the CPP
"Many were quite surprised when Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte announced recently that he is giving the Communist Party 4 cabinet departments, namely; the DENR, DSWD, the DOLE and the DAR . The thought sends chills to the guileless, innocent in the goings on of the activist movement and those unexposed to the left. But to many student activists, the so called communists are those they go with to school, discuss with and join in immersions and rallies. There are those who continued the path of activism and became part of the communist movement. There also those who are now professionals who in their own small way contribute in the social transformation of our country. I admire the friends I had in UP who sacrificed their lives in joining the CPP-NPA when they could have chosen a more comfortable life when they had the means to do so and the competence to excel in a normal world. Amante Jimenez, UP student council chairperson and Roland De la Cruz, Adamson University chairperson (who died in the mountains) are a few of those individuals. We may disagree with the ideology they have embraced but we cannot question the integrity and sincerity of these individuals who have sacrificed their future and their lives for the poor of this nation."
"I was a member of the Kabataang Makabayan during my college days. My unit then was in the UP and later on in the youth sector of the National Union of Students of the Philippines. The CPP gave an orientation to my colleagues in the NUSP and as a student was part of the CPP. I made mention of this because I know of so many people who were part of the Communist Party which may be unknown to many. Sen Francis Pangilinan, Sec Rene Velasco, Sec Nani Braganaza, Sec and Amb Bobbi Tiglao, Usec Efren Moncupa, Cong Miro Quimbo, Cong Kit Belmonte, Mayor Ed Pamintuan, Atty Ruel Pulido, Philhealth Pres Alexander Padilla, UP Prof Raymund Agapito, among others. The names I listed were those friends from my student days and those I worked with after college. There are still many which I failed to list down and I apologize. My point in writing this is to inform my friends that the Communist Party is not a shadowy organization out to kill and conquer our nation but a group of individuals who sincerely want change for the betterment of this country."
"I am quite close to some officals of the military and the police. I know that situations like this can cause uneasiness and anxiety to them. It is not so much because of ideology but many of our soldiers die in encounters with the NPA guerillas. So for them, the fight is not just political but personal as many of their colleagues and men have died fighting the so-called communist. But I also know that the idealist soldiers want change. When you talk to the men in uniform, many of them speak of change as a communist would. Many of our military and police officers died poor, integrity intact in the service of our nation. My cousin Col. Jun Parcon of the marines, who is a medal of valor and a TOYM awardee, lives in a small apartment and continous to live a spartan life along with his family."
"Do not be scared of the CPP entering the cabinet. This may be the step towards finally ending a decades old war which commands the biggest armed resistance in the whole world. The CPP are composed of real individuals who care, eat, emphatize and cry like all of us. The departments mentioned are where they can effectuate change and reform instead of protesting and carrying arms in fighting for the rights of our people. If this happens, the next step is to lay down their arms and work for peace and progress of the Filipino nation."