Rights lawyer Neri Colmenares today dismissed the lecture conducted by the so-called National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (Task Force) at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines yesterday against supposed communists as nothing more than baseless accusations that are not backed up by even the minutest competent, credible and admissible evidence.
These calumnies are but general innuendos spewed by frothing in the mouth military men and their stooges against activists and dissenters.
“We are glad the IBP opened the forum to the public so people can listen and document the slanted propaganda of the Task Force and find out whether they have evidence and basis at all for their accusations against us in NUPL that we are NPAs,” NUPL Chairman Neri Colmenares said.
The soporific 3-hour lecture merely spewed out innuendos against activists and dissenters without even the courtesy of showing the lawyers and law students who took their time to listen, a shred of evidence to prove their claims. “It was just a lot of hogwash,” Colmenares declared.
“They failed to answer the most basic question in the forum which is ‘what exactly is your evidence against Neri Colmenares and other human rights lawyers that will prove that they are NPAs and why have you not properly filed the appropriate valid cases against them if that were really true?’
It was humiliating for the military to admit during the forum that they have no evidence except “intel reports.” Why would people listen to a government whose “intel reports” listed dead judges in its narco list? The video introducing the Task Force itself was found to contain many mistakes by Vera Files which even found that the logo they used for NEDA in their very own video was not NEDA’s logo but that of the National Eating Disorders Association, an NGO in the United States. Worse, the same video portrayed Emerito Samarca, the slain ALCADEV Executive Director, as having been killed by the NPA when in fact a Surigao Regional Trial Court has actually issued a warrant of arrest against the Magahat-Bagani a paramilitary group of the AFP. Even the Surigao Governor admitted that Samarca was slain by the paramilitary group.
These propaganda campaign in the end is nothing more than a roadshow to red tag activists and dissenters in order to silence the opposition. The Duterte government is intolerant of dissent, period. Lumping dissenters and activists as NPAs to threaten them is merely intended to cow, confuse and slow down dissenters into silence and submission. A baseless accusation will not succeed as it has no evidence to prove its claim,” said NUPL Secretary General Ephraim Cortes. “
“Spewing these vitriolic canard with unbridled obsession — and before an audience made up of lawyers at that who know their law and rules of evidence — are in fact legally actionable and punishable by law, “ Cortes concluded.#