Zarate: Senate ‘red-tagging’ probe becomes ‘venue for witch hunting’
MANILA, Philippines — “The Senate hearing has been reduced to a venue for witch hunting.”
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said this in a letter to Senator Panfilo Lacson, who is leading an inquiry into the alleged red-tagging by military officials.
In the letter informing Lacson that he and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago would skip Tuesday’s resumption of the investigation to attend to their duties as House lawmakers, Zarate said that the hearing is supposedly being used by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to “vilify” them.
“As it is, instead of looking at the deadly effects of red-tagging and terrorist-tagging especially on its victims, the Senate hearings are being used by the NTF- ELCAC as a platform to further vilify us with sweeping and baseless accusations, false statements and malicious innuendos,” Zarate said.
“The Senate hearing has been reduced to a venue for witch hunting. We hope that this travesty will no longer be allowed and will be stopped,” he added.
In explaining their absence in Tuesday’s hearing, Zarate said he and Elgao “have already presented and made clear our position on the subject of red-tagging and terrorist tagging that the Senate is investigating.”
During a previous hearing conducted last Nov. 24, both Zarate and Elago, who attended physically, denied having links with the communist movement.
“As members of the House, we also need to attend to our duties and responsibilities, especially that we only have a few remaining session days before the break. We thank you and your Committee for giving us such an opportunity,” the letter also read.