Palace: Gov’t not behind red-tagging journalists; NUJP just ‘paranoid’
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang denied Thursday that the government was behind the campaign to vilify the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) by linking them to communist rebels.
A number of Manila-based tabloids on January 7 released stories linking the NUJP to the Communist Party of the Philippines, the political arm of the New People’s Army.
A day after, the state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) published a story titled “Red link tag on NUJP not ‘orchestrated’: ex-rebels.”
“Now we can say for certain that government is involved in this nefarious effort,” NUJP said in a statement.
NUJP said “this administration has been transformed into a paragon of incompetence and fakery masquerading as journalism.”
Sought for comment, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo denied the government or the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) was behind the red-tagging against the journalists’ group.
“No,” Panelo answered briefly when asked if the government was behind the smear campaign against NUJP.
“Maybe they are just paranoid. There is no such thing. PCOO will not do that. PNP does not do that also,” the palace official said. /je
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