By AMALYN ANACIO
MANILA- Youth and student activists filed a complaint on Friday before the Commission on Human Rights and the National Bureau of Investigation, urging them to investigate the intensified red-tagging of their organizations and members amid the implementation of the Philippine terror law.
In a statement, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) said that these attacks and threats were carried out by state-sponsored trolls, and have put student journalists and youth activists at risk.
“Even during a pandemic, the state never fails to showcase its incompetence to the Filipino people,” CEGP) said in a statement.
Among those they submitted were screenshots of Facebook posts by suspected government-backed Pages accusing them of being either front organizations or recruiters for the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
These social media posts bear names and photos of youth activists whom they accuse of being “terrorist reporters.”
Among the screenshots they submitted is that of a private message that read, “Your days are numbered. You still have the time to quit.” This was sent on Nov. 2, 2020 to Regina Tolentino, deputy secretary general of CEGP.
Earlier this year, a member of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) in Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) received threat messages from troll accounts linking him to the NPA.
In March, two incidents were documented involving Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office (NEPPO) and “The Right Neustian” Facebook pages, where they red-tagged Anakbayan, a national democratic organization of Filipino youth, after holding an orientation for their members.
There were also YouTube videos submitted where the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines was labeled as a “dummy group of the NPA.”
The CEGP, in their documentation, showed how red-tagging results in grave human rights abuses such as arrests, enforced disappearances, and killings.
On May 1, youth activists were arrested while on their way to join a Labor Day protest in Angeles, Pampanga. The house of a campus journalist in Daraga, Albay was raided a day later.
“Not only will this regime kill all its critics because of aversion to constructive criticisms in handling the pandemic, but with repressive policies coupled with a myriad of attacks against the Filipino people,” CEGP said.