Kiko to NICA: Leave gov’t workers alone; focus on ‘communists’ in our reef

Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, during one of the hybrid plenary sessions at the Senate in March. Screen grab / Senate PRIB file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s intelligence agency should shift its focus on the “communists” who are “occupying” the Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea instead of going after government employees, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Thursday.

“Dapat ang tinututukan nila yung pananakop ng komunista sa Julian Felipe Reef. ‘Yon ang dapat nating binibigyan ng oras at panahon ‘di ba?” Pangilinan told reporters in on online interview.


(They should focus on the communists occupying Julian Felipe Reef. That issue should be the one taking up their time, right?)

“Bakit ganon? ‘Yung maliliit, dinidiin nila, pero yung dambuhalang nananakop ng Julian Felipe Reef, ano na?” he added.

(Why is that? They go after the small people but the powerful who are occupying the Julian Felipe Reef, what happened?)

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has demanded that China withdraw the vessels from the area, which Manila maintained is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

Beijing, however, insisted that the reef is part of Nansha Qundao, one of two political districts in the South China Sea established by the Chinese government in 2020. It said the ships are fishing vessels taking shelter due to bad weather.

“Nakakalungkot…May 4 million Chinese nationals na pumasok dito mula 2017, tapos ang tinututukan nila yung mga empleyado ng gobyerno,” Pangilinan went on.

(It’s saddening…There have been 4 million Chinese nationals who entered the country since 2017, and yet they are focusing on government employees.)

This, as Pangilinan came to the defense of the workers’ union Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong Organisasyon (Senado).

Earlier, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Director General Alex Monteagudo posted on Facebook that Senado, an affiliate of red-tagged government workers’ union Courage, has been “the eyes and the ears” of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in the Senate.


“Sana man lang…binibigyan tayo ng intelligence information tungkol sa ginagawa ng China sa Julian Felipe Reef, yun ang dapat nilang asikasuhin, hindi yung maliliit na empleyado ng pamahalaan. Nakakalungkot,” Pangilinan said.

(I wish they would have given us intelligence information about what China is doing at the Julian Felipe Reef.)

Senado has already slammed as “baseless and malicious” allegations made by Monteagudo.

The minority bloc in the Senate, which Pangilinan is a part of, also earlier condemned the red-tagging of the union, saying such claims are “dangerous.”

“We strongly condemn the red-tagging of the union of Senate employees and we vehemently denounce government officials who continue to label, brand, vilify, and harass individuals and organizations such as Senado as state enemies and subversives,” they said in a joint statement.


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