“First, the government must make it clear to its officials and the public that it does not encourage, approve or condone ‘red tagging.’ I strongly recommend an Executive Order denouncing the practice and setting out measures that discourage, disincentivise and discipline those who violate the policy.”
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Delays in the rate review process mean the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines will continue to charge transmission rates that critics have described as ‘excessive.’
“The dangers are evident. The vilification has often been followed by threats, unlawful surveillance, attacks, or even unlawful killing. It intimidates and chills freedom of expression, and suppresses legitimate activism, journalism, debate and criticism which are part and parcel of freedom of expression.”
“We must remain mindful that red-tagging is a human rights violation on its own and may lead to a multiplicity of other acts of violence which put the welfare of the general public at risk,” the CHR said in a statement today.
“While the government has reassured me that it does not encourage or endorse it, there is clear evidence that ‘red tagging’ and ‘terror tagging’ as some persons have called them, are being practiced by security forces as part of their counter-terrorism strategy. Furthermore, it is also clear that such vilification is not only aimed at those who are actually associated with proscribed or listed organizations as some officials claim, it is also used to target legitimate activists and activities, sowing distrust between the State, communities and civil society.”
“The practice is not new. State forces have practiced it for decades and was intensified, online and offline, under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, especially with the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).”
“Many have pointed their fingers at the state agency, the NTF-ELCAC either as the culprit or the instigator, but also to the military, state security officials, senior government officials, and some media outlets.”
In the letter, the media groups emphasized their “profound concern” over the prolonged detention of Cumpio, Abinguna, and Domequil on charges related to illegal possession of firearms and explosives, and terrorism financing, highlighting the need for a “comprehensive review” of their cases with the aim of their prompt dismissal.
Ang kasong ito ay isa lamang sa mga ligal na maniobra ng paggamit ng Estado sa mga batas para kahit paano ay mapigilan ang mga aktibista sa pagtataguyod ng mga karapatan ng mamamayan at sa paglalantad ng kabulukan ng Estado.
Khan said the NTF-ELCAC is “outdated” and stressed that “does not take into account the ongoing prospects for peace negotiations.”