BBM’s new security policy alarms farm workers

UMA: Marcos further justifies state tyranny

Farm workers condemned government’s new national security policy (NSP) they said would only worsen the culture of impunity in the country. 

Reacting to the newly-approved Executive Order 37 (EO37) adopting NSP 2023-2028, the Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has further justified state tyranny in his government’s counter-insurgency policy. 

The group pointed that in its section on “public safety, peace, and justice,” the NSP spelled out the directive to “strengthen[…] action against the legal fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, National Democratic Front of the Philippines),” rendering in policy the practice of red-tagging trade unions and peasant associations. 

UMA said that in praising the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that has led in the red-tagging campaigns, the Marcos government aims to continue its suppression of legitimate organizations as part of its counter-insurgency programs.  

Red-tagging in the Philippines is the malicious blacklisting of legal opposition individuals and organizations as affiliated with the CPP, NPA and NDFP that often leads to their persecution and killing. 

The government has said the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) remain its biggest security threat. 

UMA chairperson Ariel Casilao said NSP 2023-2028 is a dangerous mix of illogic and impunity, adding the new five-year policy is a threat to the lives and rights of every Filipino. Casilao also pointed out that the government’s new policy defies the International Labor Organization’s recommendation to end its red-tagging activities. 

“This [NSP 2023-2028) ran counter to its description of the ‘democratic way of life,’ elements of which included, in its own words, ‘participatory governance’ and ‘respect for human rights and freedoms,” Casilao added. 

The peasant leader said it is the police and the military who prevents democracy, particularly when they spy on, abduct, file trumped-up charges, and assassinate members of farmers organizations they have subjected to red-tagging. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)