NTF-ELCAC spox baselessly red-tags CNN Philippines for sharing student org's donation drive

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
NTF-ELCAC spox baselessly red-tags CNN Philippines for sharing student org's donation drive
Sreengrab shows PCOO Usec. Lorraine Badoy.
News5 YouTube Channel, Screen grab

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2: Nov. 15, 2020, 8:37 a.m.) — A spokesperson for the controversial anti-communist task force baselessly red-tagged CNN Philippines for sharing a donation drive by a leftist student organization for victims of Super Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) and Typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco).

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Lorraine Marie Badoy flagged the TV network for sharing on Twitter the League of Filipino Students’ (LFS) call for donations.

Badoy accused, without proof, the LFS of being a “known front” of the Communist Party of the Philippines, its armed wing the New People’s Army, and the coalition of underground communist organizations, the National Democratic Front.

Membership in the CPP is not illegal, as the Anti-Subversion Law has been repealed. These groups have also not yet been declared as terrorists by local courts.

Rights groups have also warned against red-tagging, as those accused can be exposed to harassment, threats to life and even death.

READ: As Senate holds hearing on red-tagging, Amnesty urges end to 'deadly practice'

Badoy then went on to ask if there is an LFS and College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), a campus journalism organization, “cell” in CNN Philippines. There is none.

CNN Philippines pushed back against Badoy's red-tagging, saying it "strongly objects" to her "misplaced and baseless allusion."

"We believe the back-to-back storms that ravaged our country to rise up from the ruins and practice the Filipino spirit of 'Bayanihan' in whatever capacity we can, rather than foray into red-tagging that will only sow disunity," the TV network said.

It also pointed out that the donations calls of LFS was only one of the appeals it carried, as it also amplified calls from Caritas Manila, Kaya Natin PH, Ateneo de Manila University, the University of the Philippines and more.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) called Badoy's red-tagging of CNN Philippines during a calamity "despicable."

"Such heartless behavior is a disgrace not only to her office but to the whole government she supposedly serves," the NUJP said in a statement.

The union added that Badoy's accusations are "totally irresponsible" and endangers CNN Philippines journalists, and members of LFS and CEGP.

This is not the first time that members of the NTF-ELCAC baselessly red-tagged media organizations.

In a recent appearance on One News’ “The Chiefs,” Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., another spokesperson for the NTF-ELCAC, baselessly claimed that communist rebels have “infiltrated” all media outlets, with some of them even supposedly ascending to management posts.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines decried Parlade’s statement, saying that he has “painted a virtual target on everyone who mans the country’s newsdesks and newsrooms” and has “slandered the whole industry.”

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