DILG justifies efforts to identify personnel linked with leftist group

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    THE Department of Interior and Local Government yesterday justified efforts to identify employees who may be associated with the Confederation for the Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees, which it said is a leftist organization.

    In a statement, DILG officer-in-charge Bernardo Florece said that while the DILG recognizes the constitutional right of its employees to join associations, they should bear in mind that such right “is not absolute.”

    “It is but the legal and moral obligation of this department to investigate if there are employees within our ranks seeking shelter in the very system they wish to destroy,” Florece said.

    “It is our sworn obligation to determine if the organization has been infiltrated and if our employees are being recruited and exploited. Government officials and employees owe allegiance to the Republic at all times,” added Florece.

    Under Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees, Florece said civil servants “shall at all times be loyal to the Republic and to the Filipino people, uphold the Constitution, and put loyalty to country above loyalty to persons or party.”

    Florece issued the issued a day after members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives made public the DILG effort contained in a memorandum by DILG assistant secretary Alexander Macario dated March 10.

    Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said the DILG effort is another blatant red-tagging by of people’s organization and an unwarranted act of harassment and intimidation. Gaite said he suspects a “hitlist,” which could lead to more killings, is being prepared by the government.

    In the order addressed to all regional directors and regional secretary of the Bangsamoro region, Macario said there were discussions about communist front organizations’ infiltration of government agencies during “undisclosed and confidential meeting” attended by the DILG.

    He said these front organizations include the Alliance of Concerned Teachers in the private and public schools and Department of Education; and COURAGE in other government agencies.

    “Rep. Gaite’s claim that a hitlist is now being prepared by government is another figment of his imagination. The DILG has its hand full fighting the pandemic for more than a year now that it has no time and energy to engage in his wild schemes,” Florece said.