a fortnightly publication of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Close this search box.

Makabayan bloc prepares lawsuits against red taggers

On 9 May, 2024, the Makabayan block in the Philippines’ House of Representatives announced that it was ready to prosecute those behind Red-tagging that violated the rights of many leaders and activists in recent years, as reported Ang Bayan on 12, May, 2024. The block acknowledged the Supreme Court decision that declared Red-tagging as a threat to life, liberty and security to the victims. The block deemed Red-tagging victims should be awarded writs of amparo, as was done to former Bayan Muna representative Siegfried Deduro.

The Kabataan Partylist is also prepared to file charges against Red-taggers who target the youth. The systematic and rampant Red-tagging was mostly done in the university and high school forums organized by the military and NTF-Elcac. Kabataan Partylist representative Raoul Manuel  recalled the cases of Red-tagged activists subsequently slain by the military, like Chad Booc and Jurain Ngujo.

A health worker and human rights activist, Zara Alvares, who earlier filed a petition for the writ of amparo, was nonetheless murdered. Many were also abducted by the military, including Jhed Tamano, Jonila Castro, Dyan Gumanao, Armand Dayoha, Eco Dangla and Jak Tiong. Activists Bazoo de Jesus and Dexter Capuyan have up to now not been surfaced.

Even development workers and organizations working with government institutions are not spared from first Red-tagging and then harassed by methods including freezing of bank accounts.

In 2021, the military put up Red-tagging posters and organized a fake rally against the Leyte Center for Development Inc (LCDe) and its director Jazmin Aguisanda Jerusalem falsely accusing them for financing the armed movement. Jerusalem also repeatedly received death threats by telephone.

In May this year, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) ordered two banks in Leyte to freeze three joint bank accounts administered by the staff of the NGO and two private accounts, that of Jerusalem and her son Carlo. Banks also froze the accounts of at least three commercial establishment who sold relief goods for distribution by the LCDe.

The LCDe, a 36-year old Eastern Visayas-based development organization, and director Jerusalem, have won international and national awards for alleviating poverty and responding to the needs of communities hit by natural calamities. It has also been working with various levels of the Local Government Units and national agencies like the Council for People’s Development and Governance.

The AFP and PNP as the main instruments of state terror have a long  habit of Red-tagging but the tactics have progressed from the former Duterte regime to the present Marcos regime.