President Rodrigo Duterte branded the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives, and the groups Bayan and Gabriela as “legal fronts” of the communist party, claiming that they are part of a “grand conspiracy” to overthrow the government.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go talks to President Rodrigo Duterte before the start of the weekly meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Nov. 30, 2020. The President reported to the nation after the meeting. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

In a taped public address aired over state-run PTV-4 on Monday night, Duterte said the government was “not red-tagging” these groups but merely identifying them as front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“Makabayan, Bayan, they are all legal fronts, Gabriela. We are not red-tagging you. We are identifying you as members in a grand conspiracy comprising all the legal fronts that you have organized headed by NDF (National Democratic Front),” the President said.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines is very correct. You are being identified as members of the communist,” he added.

Duterte said the communists engaged in “sheer brutality,” insisting that they were no longer fighting for an ideology.

He said the communists simply wanted to overthrow the government so that they could take over.

“Gusto lang nila umagaw ng gobyerno. Mga bobo naman ang p***** i** (All they want is to overthrow the government. But they are stupid sons of a b****),” he added.

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