Bayan, Kontra-Daya slam red-tagging of party-lists under Makabayan coalition
MANILA, Philippines — Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and election watchdog Kontra-Daya denounced on Friday the alleged “state-sponsored” red-tagging of party-lists belonging to the Makabayan coalition.
The groups, which also slammed law enforcers for “electioneering,” claimed that it had affected their campaign for the May 13 polls.
In a protest in front of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) office in Quezon City, the groups said officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) had distributed its official newsletters on Election Day tagging Bayan Muna party-list as “supporter” of the New People’s Army (NPA).
“In the past years, ‘red-tagging’ or ‘redbaiting’ has been proven dangerous,” said Mong Palatino, chairperson of Bayan’s Metro Manila chapter.
The groups likewise claimed that DILG Assistant Secretary Ricojudge Echiverri had linked the Makabayan coalition to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) through a social media post.
In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Echiverri admitted that he posted on social media “sentiments on how the Makabayan bloc party-lists failed in getting the votes which they enjoyed getting previously.”
“I did post on my Facebook [account] how we were successful in convincing our friends not to support the party-list whch the President asked us not to support because of their affiliation with the NPA,” he said.
Echiverri, however, said that it cannot be called electioneering because it was posted on May 15, two days after election day.
“It’s so easy to implicate. Ano’ yung na-violate (What was violated)? Tell me, if they think there is a violation, they are free to file complaints,” he added.
He said the protest was an attack to his freedom of expression, as he also explained that some comments on his now deleted post posed threats to his life.
As protesters shouted their allegations during the protest, ground personnel of the DILG played a two-minute video of a younger Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), supposedly revealing organizations from the coalition linked to the communist movement.
Protesters were irked as the loud sound of the video mixed with their voices.
“Ang bastos di ba (It’s rude, right)? Yung reaksyon ko diyan napakabastos naman, hindi naman namin sila ginaganyan (That’s very rude. We don’t do that to them),” said Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas in an interview with reporters.
Echiverri said he did not know who ordered the video to be played.
PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde, meanwhile, said the PNP remains non-partisan and apolitical and does not meddle with political activities.
The Makabayan bloc had earlier filed a complaint against officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for allegedly tagging them as “house fronts” of the CPP, the NPA and the National Democratic Front in a Facebook post. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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