Spying on Leftists

The company where I work for has an aerial photography project. Thus, we submitted application for permit in conducting the project to the Air Transportation Office (ATO) and the Intelligence Office of the AFP. As part of our application, certain people, which said that they work in ATO, called and ask basic information to all personnel involved in the project. Their questioning on me went well until the person from the “ATO” asks something about my political affiliation.
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ATO-man: (after asking all basic information like educational background, address, etc.) …Eto last question na ito. Sana sagutin mo honestly ha.
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Ishmael: Sige po. Ano po ‘yun?
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ATO-man: Left-leaning ka ba?
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Ishmael: Ha? Ano po uli ‘yun?
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ATO-man: Left-leaning ka ba? Sumama ka na ba sa mga Rally? OK lang kung oo.
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Ishmael: Ah! Hindi po. Puro acads lang kasi ‘yung focus ko noong undergrad kaya hindi na ako sumama sa mga ganyan.
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ATO-man: Ganon? Kasi ‘di ba may mga makakaliwang grupo sa UP...tulad ng LFS [League of Filipno Students].
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Ishmael: Opo...alam ko po. Sikat nga po ‘yung UP sa mga ganyan.
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ATO-man: Pero may kilala ka na kasali sa mga grupong ‘yan?
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Ishmael: Ah, wala po. Wala akong kilala sa kanila.
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ATO-man: Wala...walang lumapit sa iyo na kasali? Wala kang na-engkwentro? OK lang sabihin mo ‘yung mga pangalan. Kakausapin ko lang sila.
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Ishmael: Meron po syempre...’yung minsan ‘pag may rali at nag-aabot ng leaflets. ‘yun lang po. Pero hindi ako sumasama kasi nga puro acads ako.
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ATO-man: Ganon...o sige tatawag na lang ako uli kung may iba pa akong questions ha.
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Actually, I lied in that conversation many times for the sake of the speedy processing of the permit and the protection of my friends that are involved in his so-called “leftist groups.” I joined a protest rally once and I encountered the so-called leftists beyond from being the receiver of their leaflets. I knew some people belonging to LFS and Anak Bayan. But what the heck. Why did he ask about my political affiliations and activities? Is it relevant in the company’s application for a permit?
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One thing is certain, that person from the “ATO” is trying to squeeze information from me about the critics of the present administration. And that, is scary.

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