Ronald Cardema once consulted Joma Sison on forming ‘patriotic’ paramilitary group

Ronald Cardema once consulted Joma Sison on forming ‘patriotic’ paramilitary group

Pia Ranada
Published 9:12 PM, February 21, 2019
Updated 9:12 PM, February 21, 2019

National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ronald Cardema, now controversial for his aggressive stance against Leftist groups, had once reached out to communist leader Joma Sison himself for help in Duterte Youth projects.

His communication with Sison was in 2016, or before Cardema was appointed NYC commissioner in 2017. Cardema was then the leader of the pro-administration Duterte Youth. It was also a time when the Duterte government and the Left were developing warm ties.

In the first year of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, Cardema had consulted Sison if the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) would be interested in some Duterte Youth projects, one of which was the formation of a “patriotic” paramilitary group.

Sison confirmed to Rappler on Thursday, February 21, that he received such a message. Cardema also confirmed to Rappler that he made such overtures to Sison. This was through Facebook Messenger. Since Sison is now based in the Netherlands, he has become more reachable through the social networking site’s messaging platform.

Cardema began his message to Sison by saying Duterte Youth is ramping up recruitment all over the country.

Cardema then said the larger and more empowered Duterte Youth would help the Duterte administration in several ways.

It would, for instance, provide information to barangays about all the drug addicts and criminals in their area.

This organization, he said, would also form a “paramilitary group” that would have as its foundation “nationalism and patriotism” and even “Leftist indoctrination.”

Cardema told Sison of his vision for the organization to train young Filipinos in “paramilitary methods” in “preparation for warfare, disaster relief, and rescue.”

A paramilitary group is an armed group that is organized like a military unit but is not formally recognized as belonging to the armed forces of a nation.

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