Makabayan bloc wants more heads to roll over red-tagging
Members of the Makabayan bloc face the press in a news conference.
Makabayan bloc/Release

Makabayan bloc wants more heads to roll over red-tagging

(Philstar.com) - January 28, 2021 - 5:34pm

MANILA, Philippines — Unsatisfied with the firing of the military’s intelligence chief, lawmakers in the leftist Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives want more heads to roll over red-tagging.

Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela party-list) said Thursday that it is not enough for Maj. Gen. Alex Luna to be sacked as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and the military’s southern Luzon commander Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. should also be fired.

"More heads must roll over this persistent and shameless red-tagging by the Duterte regime. Luna cannot be just a sacrificial lamb," she said.

Rep. Ferdinand Gaite (Bayan Muna party-list) backed this, adding that if Lorenzana is serious in exacting accountability over red-tagging, then he should dismantle the anti-communist task force created by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.

“Their spokesperson Parlade has been repeatedly making such blunders. He's been wrongly accusing anyone including activists, church leaders, celebrities and other personalities, and several academic institutions," Gaite said. “They should have long been sacked.”

Rep. France Castro (ACT Teachers party-list), meanwhile, said red-tagging will persist despite Luna’s firing unless the government’s anti-communist task force is abolished and the highly-contested anti-terrorism law junked.

Lorenzana announced Thursday that he has fired Luna over a list of University of the Philippines students who were supposedly captured and killed by the military as communist rebels published on the Armed Forces of the Philippines Information Exchange Facebook page.

The list turned out to be false as those identified to have been captured or killed surfaced in a press conference to disprove the claims.

Lorenzana called the publication of the list an “unforgivable lapse.” 

The Makabayan bloc has been repeatedly accused by government officials, including Duterte himself, as being fronts of communist rebels, despite not showing proof.

The six lawmakers in the bloc have routinely denied the accusations. — Xave Gregorio

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