Brig. General Franco Namesio Gacal, commander of Army’s 4th Infantry Division based in Cagayan de Oro City, disowned the list printed in leaflets alleging that 19 individuals and four organizations as members and fronts of the CPP-NPA.
Military denies red-tagging 19 persons, 4 groups
Ben Serrano (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2019 - 12:00am

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines — The military yesterday denied reports linking them to the allegations behind the list of supposed personalities of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Brig. General Franco Namesio Gacal, commander of Army’s 4th Infantry Division based in Cagayan de Oro City, disowned the list printed in leaflets alleging that 19 individuals and four organizations as members and fronts of the CPP-NPA.

Gacal accused the human rights group Karapatan of making a publicity stunt to discredit the military in the region.

Flyers written in the Visayan dialect were circulated recently in a human rights assembly of Karapatan held at Philtown Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City.

The list also contained names of prominent media practitioners, lawyers, human rights advocates and religious personalities.

It also named Lynyrd Alexsei “LA” Corrales, an official of the Commission on Elections in Cagayan de Oro City, as an alleged CPP member.

“We are making friends, not enemies. The document shown by Karapatan members does not belong to us, as we do not resort to cheap stunts to attain our goals. We call upon the concerned individuals to refrain from spreading false documents and reports,” Gacal said.

Gacal assured those in the list that the military does not engage in witch hunting.

“We are offering our security and other assistance should the victims need them,” he said.

The Comelec Employees Union (Comelec-EU) yesterday sought an immediate investigation linking Corrales to the CPP-NPA.

According to Comelec -EU, the red tagging is malicious and should be a cause of concern since it may put in danger the safety and security of innocent civilians who are being implicated.

“In the past, we have seen many cases of inncocent lives killed after being tagged as communists,” the Comelec-EU said.

The group said Corrales has been with the Comelec since 2015 and is currently studying law at Xavier University.

Corrales and his family denied being members of the CPP-NPA and has denounced the inclusion of their names in the said list.

Apart from Corrales, among those named in the list include his wife Ai and his son LA.

Also named were four lglesia Filipina Independiente priests and a bishop namely; Rolando Abejo, Khen Apus, Kris Ablon, and Felixberto Calang.

Lawyer Beverly Musni and her lawyer daughters Czarina and Beverly Ann Musni; Vennel Chenfoo, Mitchel Hilogon, Ophelia Tanacon, Kristine Lim, Jonathan Bonocan, Benjie Sambaan, Evelyn Naguio and Wildon Barros.

The groups Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao, and Kabataan party-list were the four organizations mentioned in the red list.

The names were under a heading written in Cebuano: “Here is the list of several members of the Communist Party of the Philippines here in our city that are aspiring to wrestle the government.”

Karapatan deplored the list as another case of harassment against human rights defenders in Northern Mindanao.

Karapatan’s Cristina Palabay said two brown envelopes containing 13 copies each of the document were handed over by “military looking” men to the security guards of Philtown Hotel, where human rights groups were holding the assembly.

Palabay said the document tagged the names in the list as communists.

“The notorious lists have further endangered the already perilous situation of human rights defenders. We have repeatedly raised how these arbitrary and baseless accusations incite threats to the lives and security of named individuals, the worst of which they become victims of extrajudicial killings,” Palabay said.

“We call on the Commission on Human Rights and the local government to protect the rights of defenders and make accountable those who continue to put their lives at risk,” she added. – With Mayen Jaymalin

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