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NUJP decries red-tagging from tabloids
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - January 8, 2019 - 9:52am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 7:53 a.m., January 9)— The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines cried foul over newspaper articles linking them to communist rebels.

A number of Manila-based tabloids have published articles linking the NUJP to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The group sees this as "part of an orchestrated effort to intimidate us into silence."

On Monday, community news outfits around the country have been requesting for reactions from NUJP officers over a so-called "Ka Ernesto," who claimed to be a former member and supposedly admitted the group's links to the CPP.

Articles with the same exact headline "NUJP Headed by CPP-NPA-NDF" have been published on at least three tabloids earlier this week.

The NUJP noted that this would be the second time in a few weeks that supposed rebels are tagging the journalists' group as part of the revolutionary movement.

On stories publised Dec. 26, 2018, a certain Mario Ludades, who claimed to be one of the founders of the CPP, accused the NUJP of being the communists' "legal front." These were published coincidentally with the 50th anniversary of the CPP.

"It is hilarious that they keep repeating these charges since the NUJP’s membership represents a broad spectrum of creeds and political beliefs bound by a common dedication to defending and expanding the bounds of freedom of the press and of expression," the NUJP said in a statement released Monday night.

The NUJP raised concern that such attempts to link them to the underground movement places their members and other colleagues in danger.

"With at least 12 colleagues slain under the watch of a president who has actually justified the murder of journalists — remember 'Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a bitch?' — and openly and constantly curses and threatens media, we are taking this matter very, very seriously," it said.

The group also called out publications, which they dubbed "cowardly enemies of the press," for releasing stories that endanger their colleagues.

"We do serve fair warning though to those behind this campaign: We will hound you and make sure you pay should any harm that may befall our members and other colleagues because of your craven machinations," the NUJP said.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article featured a photo of members of the New People's Army. It has been replaced to avoid confusion.

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
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