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Philippines

Lorenzana, Año to public: Shun Reds

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday called on the public to protect the country’s gains as an independent nation by shunning the local communist movement.

In separate statements on the occasion of the country’s 121st Independence Day, Lorenzana and Año paid tribute to Filipino heroes who fought for freedom from foreign domination.

“Let us rally behind our government to end the local communist armed conflict to eradicate the flaw of a foreign ideology that has inflicted division in our motherland for decades,” Lorenzana said.

He also paid tribute to the men and women in the uniformed services “who relentlessly guard our seas, lands and air.”

Año called on all Filipinos, particularly the youth, indigenous people and the urban poor, “to protect our freedom and shun recruitment [by] leftist enemies of the state who are behind communist terrorism in the country.”

He added: “For the last 50 years, communist terrorist groups have been pounding on the democratic pillars and integrity of the Philippine state and have caused the death of countless innocent civilians and the promising youth.”

Independence, Año said, also means “emancipation from foreign harmful ideologies, particularly [the] Marxism-Leninism-Maoism political philosophy, that [are] alien to the democratic Filipino way of life.”

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