By Juan Escandor Jr.
DAET, Camarines Norte --- Vice President Leni Robredo says she was taken out of context when she was quoted in news reports that she supports President Duterte’s declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People’s Army as terrorist groups.
“Actually, misquoted ako in the sense na ang sinabi ko mas general. Ang sinabi ko supportive ako sa lahat ng steps na ginagawa ng administrasyon na ‘to para panatilihin ang peace and order, para panatilihin ang seguridad ng ating bansa, (Actually, I am misquoted in the sense that what I said was more general. I said I am supportive to all the steps this administration is doing to maintain the peace and order, to maintain the security of our country), Robredo said as she reacted to this correspondent’s query whether she was influenced by the military assessment when she supported the declaration of the CPP and NPA as terrorist group by Mr. Duterte.
She further said: “Wala naman ako sa position para sabihin na sila ay terorista o hindi. Yon sa akin lang, ang sinabi ko, yong lahat na nagpapatay ng sibilyan, naghahasik ng lagim, yong mga gumagawa ng mga terroristic activities, yon yong mga terorista. Pero wala ako sa position para sabihing ito si grupo ni Pedro ay terorista, ito hindi. (I am not in the position to say they (CPP, NPA) are terrorists or not. As for me, I said, all those that kill civilians, sowing terror, those going terroristic activities, they are the terrorists. But I am not in the position to say this group of Pedro is terrorist, this one is not.)”
When this correspondent asked Robredo regarding the ambush staged by the NPA rebels on Dec. 2, she said she “condemns in the strongest sense” the ambush that killed two and wounded six police officers.
Robedo said the police officers who were ambushed are law enforcers that protect the people and that they are only doing their job as mandated.
“Kaya hindi naman dapat na pinapatay, dapat na pinaparusahan kung wala naman kadahilan,” she said.
Before leaving Daet, Camarines Norte where she launched her project “Istorya ng Pag-asa”, Robredo visited the wake of PO2 Richard Abad, who was killed on the spot at Barangay Daguit, Labo, Camarines Norte, and PO1 Pedro Valeros, who died at the hospital, three days after the ambush.