Media group says red-tagging meant to intimidate, silence members
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Tuesday denied allegations that it is being controlled by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines denounces continued efforts to link us to the communist revolutionary movement, which we see as part of an orchestrated effort to intimidate us into silence,” NUJP said in a statement on Monday.
The NUJP statement was in reaction to ‘similar’ banner stories of three tabloid news outfits, which carried the same Tagalog headline “NUJP headed by CPP-NPA-NDF”.
NPA refers to the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the CPP; while NFP is the National Democratic Front, a broad organization of revolutionary groups nationwide.
“On Monday, January 7, NUJP officers found themselves answering requests for interviews from community news outfits around the country soliciting reactions to charges by someone identified only as ‘Ka Ernesto’, who claimed to be a former member and supposedly admitted that the organization had links to Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison,” the media union explained.
“When asked where the story originated from, they invariably pointed to banner stories carried by a number of Manila-based tabloids – we can confirm at last three, Police Files Tonite, Bagong Bomba and Saksi Mata ng Katotohanan,” they added.
NUJP also clarified that the accusations exposes their members — who have diverse political opinions and beliefs — to potential danger.
“It is hilarious that they keep repeating these charges since the NUJP’s membership represents a broad spectrum of creeds and political beliefs bound by a common dedication to defending and expanding the bounds of freedom of the press and of expression,” NUJP pointed out.
“We were initially tempted to ignore the fantastic and, to be honest, hilarious account of ‘Ka Ernesto’, but for the fact that, as idiotic as this attempt to smear the NUJP is, it exposes our members and other colleagues to potential danger from those who might readily believe this canard,” it added.
On December 27 last year, a certain Mario Ludades, who claims to be a founder of the CPP, likewise claimed that the NUJP is a front of the CPP.
“It does not take genius to figure out who is behind this determined, if futile, effort to cow us. But we tell you now and will tell you again, do your worst, you will fail,” the NUJP stated.
NUJP said it is considering legal actions regarding this issue.
NUJP is the latest organization to be tagged as a member of the leftist group.
Last December, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that the crackdown on the communist revolution will cover front organizations, including party-list groups.
Last Sunday, officials from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list said that police officers have been conducting intelligence operations in several Metro Manila schools.
This was intended to profile teachers and determine if they have links with ACT, which has been deemed a communist organization.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde has relieved intelligence officers from Manila Police District’s Station 3, Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) Station 6, and the Zambales police’s intelligence unit chief after the incident.
He also denied ordering the operations, although he justified the necessity of profiling among CPP fronts. /gsg
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