Red-tagging or labeling a person or a group as communist is not something that one can be ashamed of. As we all know communism, in contrast to capitalism, wants to use the state to provide equal opportunity to the masses under a controlled economy.
We used to have Republic Act 1700, also known as the Anti-Subversion Law, which penalized people for inciting subversion or any acts that endanger national security. But RA 1700 was repealed by RA 7636 which was signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos on Sept. 23,1992. This new law, which has not been lifted or amended, legalizes the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) granting it political space and allowing it to compete in the free market of ideas under a democratic society.
So, being a communist is not a crime; what is a crime is if you join or support the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed component of the CPP simply because by joining or supporting the NPA, you are already engaged in inciting to rebellion or bringing down the government which is the ultimate aim of the NPA.
The United States and most countries in Europe have communist parties which have their own representatives in their legislatures and very active in the political arena. But they don’t have armed components like what the CPP has; they don’t advocate bringing down their governments through armed rebellion but only through ideas and reason.
And here lies the difference. In the Philippines we have several militant groups who are not happy when they are labeled as communists. Why are they afraid to admit that they are communists or Reds? Under RA 7636, they can participate in democratic forums. And in fact, we have to admit that these militant groups have shown their dedication to the common good and have always been on the side of the people especially those whose human rights have been violated or are the victims of injustice.
But why is it that these party-list legislators, most of them brilliant and patriotic, refuse to admit that they are communists? And why can’t they denounce the NPA for atrocities committed in the countryside such as the killing of innocent civilians and burning of properties of those who refused to pay its revolutionary tax?
Maybe it’s time for them to enlighten us