PNP to probe police stations allegedly red-tagging Makabayan lawmakers
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will investigate allegations that some police stations have been red-tagging members of the House of Representatives’ Makabayan bloc.
During the hearing of the House committee on appropriations on the budget proposal of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for 2021, ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro shared screenshots of several social media posts allegedly made by various police stations linking progressive groups such as Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Partylist, ACT Teachers Partylist, and Kabataan Partylist to terrorists.
These posts were made as early as 2019, according to Castro.
Castro said local police stations in Abra, Romblon, Leyte, and Surigao del Sur were among those making such posts on social media.
The lawmaker then turned to recently-installed PNP chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan. She asked the PNP chief if it’s part of the national police force’s policy to make such “terror-tagging” posts.
Cascolan neither confirmed nor denied the posts but assured PNP will investigate the matter.
“We will investigate this. As of now, there is no feedback given to us but rest assured that we will give you the feedback upon the results of the investigation,” Cascolan said.
“Second, we assure that the PNP always follows the rule of law and we will do that and at the same time come up with how we will be able to avoid such retagging if it is true that the police stations were the ones that did this,” the police chief added.
Cascolan said PNP’s anti-cybercrime office will conduct the investigation and that its results could be out after two weeks.
Meanwhile, ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Yap, who chairs the appropriations committee, said that such negative posts are not only being done against the Makabayan lawmakers, who are members of the opposition.
“Ang i-post natin sa Facebook ay kung paano tayo gagaling ‘pag tayo ay tinamaan ng COVID-19. Ang nangyayari, ‘yan ang pino-post natin, puro hate,” Yap said.
“Ina-advise ko rin ang mga kabataan na umiwas tayo sa Facebook kung puro galit lang ang ilalagay natin doon,” he added.
On Wednesday, the committee on appropriations suspended the deliberations on the budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office “until further notice” as Makabayan lawmakers also denounced the red-tagging activities of one of its officials.
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