Makabayan bloc to Senate: Don't be used as vessel for 'red-tagging' by military officials | Inquirer News
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Makabayan bloc to Senate: Don’t be used as vessel for ‘red-tagging’ by military officials

/ 01:38 PM November 03, 2020
makabyan bloc

Photo from Makabayan Bloc Facebook.

MANILA, Philippines — The House Makabayan bloc, which is being linked to communist groups, expressed hope that the Senate hearing into the alleged red-tagging of military officials will not be used to defame members of progressive organizations.

“Umaasa kami na hindi ninyo pahihintulutang magamit ang inyong Komite at ang Senado bilang lunsaran ng red tagging o terrorist tagging,” the bloc said in a joint statement.

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The statement was read by the Makabayan bloc’s legal counsel during Tuesday’s hearing.

“Hindi dapat magamit ang Senado sa paninirang puri na sa kabuuan ay nagsasapanganib sa buhay at kaligtasan ng mga lider at miyembro ng mga progresibong organisasyon,” they added.

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The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives is composed of Bayan Muna party-list representatives Carlos Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat, Ferdinand Gaite, Gabriela Women’s party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro and Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago.

In their joint statement, the Makabayan bloc stressed that any accusations or red-tagging against its members will not affect the credibility of the Makabayan bloc.

“Naninindigan kami na hindi mayuyurakan ng anumang bintang at kasinungalingan ang kredibilidad ng Makabayan. Hindi kailanman mapapawi ng anumang red-tagging ang track record ng mga militanteng organisasyon ng mamamayan,” they said.

“Simula nang pumasok ng Makabayan sa Kongreso, pinaglaban at pinagwagi nito ang mga konkretong tagumpay na nagpabuti sa buhay ng milyong mga Pilipino gaya ng pagtaas ng sahod, pensyon, at benepisyo, libreng edukasyon, at mas mababang singil sa tubig at kuryente, at iba pa,” they added.

The members of the Makabayan bloc skipped the hearing, which was triggered by controversies hounding Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. over alleged red-tagging of certain celebrities.

Parlade, who serves as spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, also earlier disclosed that  members of the Makabayan bloc are under surveillance for their alleged links to communist groups.

The group’s legal counsel told senators that the lawmakers are embarking on “separate relief missions” amid the pandemic and the onslaught of Typhoon Rolly in the Bicol Region.

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“Sa kalagitnaan ng pagragasa ng krisis pangkalusugan at sa ekonomiya dulot ng pamdemiya ng COVID-19, sinalanta pa ng super bagyong Rolly ang Rehiyon ng Bikol at marami pang rehiyon sa bansa,” the lawmakers’ statement further read.

“Nararapat na ituon nating lahat ang atensyon sa pagtugon sa mga kagyat na pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayang biktima ng pandemya at kalamidad, hindi sa pulitikal na pananakot at pagpapalaganap ng kasinungalingan,” they added.

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TAGS: Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Makabayan bloc, Nation, News, Senate hearing
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