Poe says ‘reckless’ tagging, false accusations ‘dangerous,’ must be prevented
MANILA, Philippines — “Reckless” tagging of any individual without substantial proof should be prevented as it could place any other citizen under threat, Senator Grace Poe said Tuesday amid proposals to make red-tagging a crime.
“The reckless tagging of anybody that will damage their reputation, that will put them in danger, is something that we really need to prevent,” Poe said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel when asked if red-tagging should be criminalized.
“Whether or not it’s called red-tagging or false accusations, public humiliation or any pronouncement that is not substantiated should really be controlled because, otherwise, people will always be wary about all of these, probably any other citizen now is subject to that same threat,” she added.
Poe said she had previously cautioned the military, during one of the Senate hearings on red-tagging, to “be careful about their pronouncements.”
“A lot of these, the ones that are being alleged are not just being threatened by the government… but even in social media, they’re being bashed by those who are supportive of this government,” the senator said.
“Unfortunately there are those that echo what the leadership says. It’s actually a double whammy for people being identified,” she further said.
Suggestions of criminalizing red-tagging was raised following the Senate defense committee’s inquiry into the alleged red-tagging activities of military officials.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate defense panel, earlier said he is “seriously” considering proposals to make red-tagging a crime “as long as legislation will not infringe on the bill of rights involving freedom of speech and expression.”
Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan also said criminalizing red-tagging is worth looking into.
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