Veteran activist and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s (BAYAN) chairperson Teddy Casiño filed a civil suit against his “most vicious red-taggers” Lorraine Badoy-Partosa and Jeffery Celiz at the Makati Prosecutor’s Office last Monday, December 18.
In a statement, Casiño said his legal action had been long overdue as the respondents had been “falsely, maliciously, and repeatedly” accused him of being involved in terrorism, rebellion and other crimes as a supposed high ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
“They have been constantly spewing lies, aspersions, inciting ridicule and hate against me, my family, my fellow activists and our legitimate political beliefs and activities,” Casiño said.
Casiño’s filing came a few days after both Badoy-Partosa and Celiz were released from the House of Representatives detention facility where they have been held for a week for contempt.
After admitting they were wrong in their accusation that House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez had more than a billion pesos in foreign travel funds and apologizing to legislators, the two were freed on humanitarian grounds last December 16.
Their controversial show on Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) was also ordered suspended for 14 days starting December 14 by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) for “death threats, profane language, and unverified news content.”
Casiño said the hearings conducted on SMNI’s alleged violations of its franchise showed how the respondents lie and falsely accuse victims of their red-tagging spree.
“There is even a point that my travels to my home province have been maliciously maligned,” he said.
Casiño added that Celiz and Badoy-Partosa’s lies, hate speech and death threats are magnified by mercenary trolls and fake accounts, affecting his family’s reputation and integrity he has built and protected for many years.
“As a Leftist activist, I have been called many things by my detractors. But to be falsely and repeatedly accused of being a high ranking official of an organization arbitrarily designated by the Anti Terrorism Council as a terrorist organization, and accused of orchestrating the death of thousands and the destruction of the country, is just too much,” he said.
The veteran government and street parliamentarian added that he and other victims suffer dismay, unease, anger, stress and countless sleepless nights because of Celiz and Badoy-Partosa.
Casiño’s complaint was filed after mother and son Carol and Alfonso Tomas (Atom) Araullo, media organizations and other entities have filed various complaints against the red-tagging duo and SMNI before various courts, the MTRCB, the Office of the Ombudsman and the National Telecommunications Commission.
“I file this case not only for myself but for the sake of countless other activists and ordinary citizens who are being victimized on a daily basis by SMNI and the NTF-ELCAC. This must stop. Badoy-Partosa, Celiz and their fellow red-taggers must answer for their lies and attacks,” Casiño said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)