Red-tagging puts lives in danger, file cases instead, Guevarra says | Inquirer News
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Red-tagging puts lives in danger, file cases instead, Guevarra says

/ 03:32 PM June 15, 2022
Red-tagging puts people's lives in danger, so file charges against them instead, says Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

FILE PHOTO: DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — Red-tagging puts labeled people or groups in danger, so, instead of publicly tagging them as connected to armed groups, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the government should file charges against them if they have evidence.

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“What is the point of labeling people? Kung meron namang ebidensya against them, follow the necessary legal action [If there is evidence against them, follow the necessary legal action,” Guevarra said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay Forum.

Guevarra said if the person or group is being suspected only because of their political views but has no concrete evidence, “wag ka na lang magsalita dahil you are endangering certain people who are just vocal about their own political views [it is better not to talk about it because you are putting in danger certain people who are just vocal about their own political views].”

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“As far as the DOJ (Department of Justice) is concerned, if you have evidence, file the appropriate complaints, do whatever is necessary to prosecute them. [Otherwise] stop labeling them,” Guevarra said.

The outgoing DOJ chief said the DOJ already expressed its position to the NTF-ELCAC but he is not aware if his advice has been followed.

He said labeling persons and organizations is not within the mandate of NTF-ELCAC.

“The main ideal of NTF-ELCAC is what we call the whole of nation approach. In order to eliminate or reduce insurgency, we should help them [communist members] rehabilitate themselves. It is a way of attracting them to go back to the folds of the law. We should not engage them in combat until they are completely decimated,” Guevarra said.

Earlier, in-coming National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos expressed similar sentiments and expressed her disapproval of red-tagging.

“Perhaps let’s not use labels. We gain nothing if we keep on labeling people,” she said in one interview.

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TAGS: criminal charges, DoJ, Menardo Guevarra, red-tagging
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