Mindanao journalist condemns ‘red-tagging’

A Mindanao journalist condemned his inclusion “by cowards” in a list of supposed communist symphatizers in Cagayan de Oro City, denying he and his family were ever members of the underground revolutionary group.

“My wife is a marketing executive with Gold Star Daily, where I am the associate editor. My son is a regular staff of the Commission on Elections-10 and is currently serving in the commission’s city office,” Mindanao Gold Star Daily associate editor and Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) board director Leonardo Vicente “Cong” Corrales told Kodao.

Corrales said he denounces the list given by an unidentified person to a security guard during the Hustisya-Northern Mindanao assembly and launching at the Philtown Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City this morning.

Corrales said the list  does not only intimidate him in his work as a journalist but has endangered his family as well.

“We know fully well that red-tagging is a virtual death sentence. On my end, I will not let this cowardly act push me to silence. I will continue speaking truth to power,” Corrales said.

Human rights group Karapatan in a statement said it suspects that the person who handed the security guard the two brown envelopes containing copies of the list was a military agent.

“Each envelope contained 13 copies of flyers listing organisations of youth and teachers, and tagging names of church workers, lawyers, rights advocates and that of a journalist,” Karapatan said.

The list given to a security guard during a human rights-related event.

Among the names listed in the flyers were Iglesia Filipino Independiente Bishop Felixberto Calang, Fr. Rolando Abejo of Movement Against Tyranny-Northern Mindanao, Karapatan Northern Mindanao spokesperson Fr. Khen Apus, human rights lawyers Beverly Musni, Czarina Musni and Beverly Ann Musni.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) immediately condemned the listing of its former director.

“There is nothing more cowardly and deplorable than to vilify persons and put them in mortal peril behind the cloak of anonymity. And as has happened all to often, red-tagging is not mere intimidation. All too often it can be a virtual death sentence,” the NUJP said in a statement.

The COPC for its part said it stands with Corrales  as it called on authorities to investigate the incident. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)