“As a state-run news agency, PNA should observe the ethical standards of journalism, as government resources should be utilized for the public good.”
By ALYSSA MAE CLARIN
MANILA – Various groups condemned the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict for the latest red-tagging of journalism professor Danilo Arao and election watchdog Kontra Daya.
The recent red-tagging spree was published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), with Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz as their lone source.
Celiz claims to have held several positions in the underground movement in the Philippines. Of late, he has been notoriously red-tagging progressive organizations as part of the NTF-ELCAC.
In their published articles, the PNA wrote that Kontra Daya and Arao are affliated the Communist Party of the Philippines. The report also alleged that Kontra Daya is a project used to manipulate public opinion on the elections.
In a statement, Kontra Daya denounced this, saying that Celiz’ claims are “grounded in falsehoods” which had long been refuted.
“Given his propensity for weaving a web of lies, it comes as no surprise that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflicts finds him useful for red-tagging which is considered the highest form of ‘fake news’ as it can get a person arrested, tortured or even killed,” said Kontra Daya in their released statement.
IBON Foundation, who had worked with Arao for many years, claimed that the professor was one of their senior staff in 1999, during the time that a “former cadre” accused him of involvement with armed groups.
As an education and advocacy institution, IBON had also held countless trainings and seminars with Arao as one of the resource speakers but it was never as a front for any terrorist group.
“It is delusional and malicious to say that these simple capacity-building activities are organized by the Central Committee of the CPP through Arao as alleged,” said IBON.
Bulatlat, for its part, called out the PNA, and urged them to uphold journalism ethics and not to parrot disinformation that is being spread by the NTF-ELCAC.
“As a state-run news agency, PNA should observe the ethical standards of journalism, as government resources should be utilized for the public good,” said Bulatlat managing editor Ronalyn Olea in a statement.