Lagman: ‘Red-tagging’ to secure more funds for campaign vs perceived terrorists
MANILA, Philippines — The recent red-tagging of progressive lawmakers and some celebrities is “calculated” to secure more funds for the military’s campaign against perceived insurgents and terrorists, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Thursday.
“Red-tagging appears to be relentlessly pursued by military officials to justify the retention of the recently formed National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) which has a huge budgetary outlay of close to P20-billion and has been labeled as the ‘military’s pork barrel’,” Lagman said in a statement.
Lagman said the move is “reminiscent of the military’s foisting the paranoia of ‘budgetary Huks’ back in the 1950s and 1960s “to dramatize the need for more allocations to subdue” the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon (Hukbalahap or the “Huks”.)
“After the end of World War II, the Huks fought for socio-economic reforms, including the emancipation of landless farmers, and were tagged as communists,” Lagman said.
“‘Budgetary red-tagging’ now coincides with the Congress’ crafting and approving the 2021 General Appropriations Act,” he added.
To recall, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte tagged as “communists” members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives which is composed of lawmakers representing Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers Partylist, Gabriela Women’s Party, and Kabataan Partylist.
The Makabayan bloc has since denied its links to communist groups, saying red-tagging is only a ploy by the government to hide its incompetence.
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