The NFA released a memorandum requiring its officials and employees to divulge their personal background, work history, location of residence, organizational affiliations, sketch of location of residences, places of residences since birth, foreign countries visited, among others.
By RUTH LUMIBAO
MANILA – A “militarization of the civilian bureaucracy” — this is how the Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (Karapatan) described a required form for employees of the National Food Authority (NFA).
Dated January 18, 2018, NFA released a memorandum requiring its officials and employees to divulge their personal background, work history, location of residence, organizational affiliations, sketch of location of residences, places of residences since birth, foreign countries visited, among others. The form is labeled as Form 200-054, coming from the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). All employees were required to submit the form by January 31, 2018.
“We do not know what Duterte and his cohorts in the military and Cabinet are up to, but this suspicious move merits proper investigation. If this is forced conscription of government employees, imposed and especially without due consent, the people behind this memo should be held accountable,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General said.
The rights group also warned that this could be part of the Duterte administration’s scheme to use agencies and institutions as intelligence networks, following its ‘crackdown’ on so-called ‘legal fronts’ the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“There is a need to map out where else this is happening, as well as to investigate the motive behind this,” Palabay explained.
“In the context of continued political persecution, killings, illegal arrests and harassment among the ranks of activists, members of progressive organizations, human rights defenders and civilians, such a memorandum raises many red flags. If this is indeed another maneuver to constrict spaces for people to express criticism and dissent, then this is another glaring indication of the Duterte regime’s contempt for the exercise of the people’s basic right to freedom of expression, association and assembly, among other civil and political rights,” the rights advocate warned.