De Oro council to firm up measure vs Red-tagging
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The city council is forming a group to investigate cases of Red-tagging of journalists, religious leaders and human rights defenders in support of a proposed measure to stop the harassment.
Councilor Romeo Calizo, chair of the committee on police, fire and public safety, said the group would examine proposals from groups and individuals bearing the brunt of Red-tagging.
The councilor said the technical working group should be composed of members with legal and law enforcement expertise.
Recommendations made by the group would be submitted to the city council.
A group, led by human rights lawyer Beverly Musni, a victim of Red-tagging herself, had recommended the declaration of Cagayan de Oro as a “Red-tag free” city.
Musni, member of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao, said she was grateful that the city government is acting on addressing the issue.
“If there is an ordinance penalizing Red-tagging, it would greatly contribute to our human rights work, as it will protect the lives of civilians,” she said.
Musni’s group also proposed that village officials and residents be required to help authorities identify persons who put up posters and other materials with statements accusing individuals of having ties with communist rebels.
JB Deveza, media safety officer of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, said Red-tagging is being used to intimidate media.
Reynaldo Maraunay, president of the local Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas chapter, said Red-tagging is tantamount to a suppression of press freedom./TSB
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