“In their eyes, we are all communists if we advocate for human rights and protection of civil liberties. My message to Badoy, the victims and families of all your red-tagging will go after you. We will not stop until you are convicted and jailed.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Red-tagging will continue as long as red-taggers, like former spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Lorraine Badoy, remain free, and are not held accountable.
This is why for Lean Porquia, red-tagging should be criminalized.
“Red-tagging is a desperate recourse to silence dissent, regardless if you’re an activist, professional, community worker, student, as long you criticize government and its policies, the government’s security cluster is out to monitor, surveillance, harass, threaten, or worse, arrest, kill, or abduct you,” Porquia told Bulatlat in an online interview.
Porquia, is the son of slain Bayan Muna Party-list Iloilo Coordinator Jory Porquia.
His father was red-tagged and was subjected to police surveillance before he was killed in April 2020. Jory was leading the relief operations and education campaign on COVID-19 to the poor communities of Iloilo at the time when strict lockdown was implemented in the country. He was killed inside his home in Iloilo City.
The red-tagging did not end after the killing of his father. Just after Badoy red-tagged Manila Presiding Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar, she continued to red-tag Porquia’s family.
“In their eyes, we are all communists if we advocate for human rights and protection of civil liberties. My message to Badoy, the victims and families of all your red-tagging will go after you. We will not stop until you are convicted and jailed,” Porquia said.
In a Facebook post, human rights lawyer Maria Sol Taule said Badoy is relentless in red-tagging anyone because there has been no progress in the cases filed against her.
Taule, just like Porquia, is often red-tagged by Badoy. And just like Jory, some members of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) who were red-tagged were later killed or subjected to other forms of attacks and harassment.
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Progressive groups as well as alternative media groups, including Bulatlat, did not take the incessant red-tagging of the NTF-ELCAC sitting down and filed complaints against Badoy in the Ombudsman as well as with the Commission on Human Rights. However, there is no reported action on the said complaints.
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Progressives sue Lorraine Badoy over red-tagging spree
Youth groups file complaint against red-tagging
Progressive lawyers push back, file charges against red-taggers
Media groups sue NTF-ELCAC officials over red-tagging
Media outfits file complaints vs state agents over red-tagging, seizure of news magazine
Rights group sues red-taggers
Red-tagged groups file complaint at CHR
Meanwhile at the Senate, former Sen. Franklin Drilon’s Senate Bill 2121 or “Act Defining and Penalizing Red-Tagging” is still pending.
Porquia said that after the killing of his father, they have to change their way of life as their whole family has been subjected to red-tagging.
“We have to be careful about our security. I’ve heard stories about what it is like living under Martial Law, moving from one place to another just to be safe. It feels like the same right now,” he said.
It came to a point where Poquia’s family in Canada petitioned them to migrate. But Porquia said there’s work that needs to be done in the country.
Right now, Porquia is involved with the Citizens Rights Watch Network, a network of victims of red-tagging and extra-judicial killings that documents all cases of red-tagging and political killings.
“I think this is what Tatay would’ve wanted,” he said.