The red tag

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez - The Freeman

In a conventional setting, the red tag would often mean an item being on sale. As a woman who is fond of shopping for the best value, I'd always look for the red tag. They are often shiny with big, bold letters that stand out for the customer to see. They attract potential buyers, conditioning minds into taking an item that they don't really need at all. However, because of the value for money that they offer, they give in to buying these items.

Life would have been no problem if the concept of a red tag would remain as that. However, in another context, it refers to naming one person to be in line with terrorists and rebels. The most recent one is Judge Marlo Malagar who ruled that the Communist Party of the Philippines is not a terrorist group nor are its actions an indication of terrorism. Her knowledge and wisdom on the case moved her to make such a decision which irked former National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict spokeswoman Lorraine Badoy.

Her now-deleted post mentioned a scenario to kill the judge who made the ruling and likened it to her understanding of leniency. This prompted judicial affiliated groups to make public statements on a rare occasion. Even the judge's husband who is now the new chancellor of UP Cebu was dragged into the tag, as perpetrators described UP's critical stance as an act of rebellion. Just recently, I discovered that the editor-in-chief of the school paper of the same campus was also tagged as a recruiter of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

While we live on the principles of democracy and free speech, there are certain limits to the words that we speak. For this case, these are the phrases typed and posted accompanied by slanderous photos. We cannot just abuse the free will to speak on certain platforms. There is no need to malign and tag them certain affiliations with no basis at all. It is only instilling fear and destroying their credibility.

On another note, the anonymous red tags have proven that aggrieved parties are shallow in nature. They have no other means to engage in an intellectual activity than to be irresponsible on the internet. The only thing they know is how to enter into a psychological warfare, even without their real faces and names.

While the Supreme Court has already warned this former spokeswoman, those who are likely to be tagged should not let their guard down. The red tag could result in untoward incidents as several individuals may want to resort to violence to end this so-called conflict. I'd like to think there is a lack of communication between both parties which has led to assumption.

The issue with Badoy versus Malagar might die down in a few days but we must keep our watch. For one, judges should not be questioned for their line of thinking during promulgations. For another, the UP fort must be firm that they exist for honor and excellence.

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