Makabayan solons file case vs military execs over red-tagging, electioneering

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Makabayan solons file case vs military execs over red-tagging, electioneering
From left to right: Reps. Sara Jane Elago (Kabataan), France Castro (ACT Teachers) and Emmi De Jesus (Gabriela).
The STAR / Shiela Crisostomo

MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan coalition filed a complaint before the Commission on Elections Wednesday, accusing military officials of red-tagging and campaigning against its party-list groups in the May midterm elections.

Aspirants from Makabayan particularly focused on a post on the official Facebook page of the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines titled “Junk CPP-NPA-NDF HOUSE FRONTS.”

The graphic—which is still posted on the page—supposedly bears the statement of Liga Independencia Pilipinas spokesman Dario Bolivar accusing party-list groups Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, ACT Teacher and Kabataan of having advocacies “consistent with the aims” of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.

“The respondents through these malicious posts urge the public not to vote for any of the Makabayan party-lists and the senatorial candidate of the Makabayan bloc, Atty. Neri Colmenares, on the false basis that these candidates are ‘terrorists’ and ‘legal fronts’ of the CPP-NPA,” the groups said in their 11-page complaint-affidavit.

They stressed the post seeks to cripple and sabotage the campaign of Makabayan bets through the “dirty and dangerous tactic of red-baiting.”

“By labelling the Makabayan party-lists as ‘communist fronts’ and vilifying them as ‘rebels’ and ‘terrorists,’ the respondents endanger the lives and safety of our officials, members, campaign personnel, and the sectors we represent, by painting complainants and anyone affiliated with them as valid targets of police and the military in the government’s counter-insurgency activities,” the groups said.

Philippine jurisprudence defines red-tagging as “the act of labelling, branding, naming and accusing individuals and/or organizations of being left-leaning, subversives, communists or terrorists (used as) a strategy... by State agents, particularly law enforcement agencies and the military, against those perceived to be ‘threats’ or ‘enemies of the State.’”


The Makabayan coalition also claimed that military officials committed electioneering or partisan political campaign. The 1987 Constitution prohibits the military from engaging in partisan political activity.

“By labelling the Makabayan party-lists as ‘CPP-NPA-NDF House fronts’ and telling the public to ‘Junk CPP-NPA-NDF HOUSE FRONTS,’ the respondents, who are military officials, employees of the government, and heads of the military—an institution constitutionally-mandated to be non-partisan—are campaigning against the candidates of the Makabayan coalition,” the groups said.

The complainants include Colmenares, Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro (ACT Teachers), Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna), Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas (Gabriela), Ariel Casilao (Anakpawis) and Sarah Jane Elago (Kabataan).

The respondents are Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., AFP CRS Commander Major Gen. Bienvenido Datuin and any employee under their orders who are responsible for the acts.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with